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Hedgehog tracks and signs

Find out how to identify hedgehog droppings and tracks.

Hedgehog tracks

Hedgehogs can be difficult to detect, but searching for their footprints is a good way of discovering if they are around.

Both the front and back feet have five toes, though often only four toes show up on the tracks. The front feet are wider, and they look like little hands. The back feet are slimmer and longer and leave correspondingly narrower prints.

Hedgehog footprints by Emily Thomas

These hedgehog tracks are from a footprint tunnel. Footprint tunnel kits can be bought or made. They are low-tech but they are an effective and robust way of detecting hedgehogs. Please note, that hedgehog footprints left in mud may appear differently.

View the guide developed by People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) for using footprint tunnels.

Hedgehog droppings

Droppings can vary depending on the diet of the hedgehog.

Droppings are usually dark brown-grey or black. They are firm and typically packed with the exoskeletons of invertebrates, such as beetles.

Often you will see a dropping on its own, and it will be roughly cylindrical, and sometimes tapered. Droppings sometimes look like a dark slug on the lawn. They range in length from 15-50mm.

Hedgehog dropping by Emily Thomas

There are also plenty of other ways to find out if a hedgehog is visiting your garden or green space. Find out more.