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As the peak bonfire weekend arrived, two ales called Hedgehog, and a mammal called Ales have joined forces at Derby's Alexandra Hotel to promote the message to check for spiny animals asleep under the wood pile before festivities begin.

Ralf ordered Castle Rock’s wildlife bitter, Hedgehog, and the identically named real ale from the Welbeck Brewery for bonfire week as a subtle wildlife preservation reminder.   “All three are being appreciated,” he says, “with most of the conversation being about our pet pygmy hedgehog and how pretty she looks.

“Ales is nearly five years old, and is one of our favourites. We’ve looked after her for some time and as she’s got older we’ve added to the menagerie with geckos and other exotic species.”

Ales, is one of over 30 rescue animals cared for by Anna and Ralf at the Alex. Their rabbit, Amber, is a back bar regular though the pygmy hedgehog, being nocturnal, misses most of the pub’s day time fun.

'Ales', the hedgehog, with Anna and Ralf Dyson-Edge

‘Ales’, the hedgehog, with Anna and Ralf Dyson-Edge