Action 305: Leave your Halloween pumpkin out for wildlife

pumpkinDate: 01 November
Action: 305
Cost of taking action: NIL


After your Halloween celebrations, think about how to dispose of your carved pumpkin lantern

Now that the celebrations are over, please don’t just discard your carved pumpkin, and especially not into the routine waste bin.

Please make sure that you at least put it in your composter.

Better still, why not leave it for local wildlife to enjoy?


Your pumpkin can be easily composted:

  • remove the light or candle, any wax left behind, and any labels and price stickers from the shop
  • chop your pumpkin into small pieces – about 1 inch (3cm) chucks is good
  • mix your bits of pumpkin with other composting material such as autumn leaves
  • place in your composter
  • job done!


As long as it has not been painted, or has started to go mouldy, you can use your pumpkin to feed local birds, squirrels and other wildlife.

Both the pumpkin flesh and seeds are enjoyed by a number of animals.

Be sure to remove any candles and wax from the fruit, and then chop your pumpkin into 1 inch chunks before setting it out for animals to nibble on.

As for the seeds, many birds and small mammals will love to have these as a snack. Rinse the seeds and lay them out to dry. When dried place them on a tray or mix them in with other birdseed and set them outside.

Another method for reusing pumpkins for wildlife is to make a pumpkin feeder with either a pumpkin cut in half with the pulp removed or with an already cut up Jack-o-lantern. The feeder can be filled with birdseed and pumpkin seeds, and hung for the birds.

Oh … if you have hedgehogs in your area, take care as we are advised they shouldn’t eat pumpkin.

Why is this helpful?

This small action, which costs nothing, will:

  • nourish local wildlife and attract it to your garden
  • reduce the waste produced by your household
  • prevent millions of pumpkins from rotting in landfill sites