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Detecting hedgehogs using footprint tracking tunnels

  • Footprint tunnels are the only universally reliable way of telling if you have hedgehogs
  • No other technique works in any location, however experienced you are at finding hedgehogs
  • They also mean you don’t need to spend time creeping around in the dark. Hooray! (Although you can still do that if you desire (be safe!))

The most common type of footprint tunnel is a black plastic triangle with a plastic insert. Pieces of A4 paper are attached to either end of the insert and ink is painted on either side of a bowl of bait. The hedgehogs come in to feed and then leave a trail of footprints as they leave.

Hedgehog footprints in a tunnel by Emily Thomas

Hedgehogs have very distinctive tracks which can be used to establish their presence.

→ Here is a free downloadable guide to surveying for hedgehogs using footprint tracking tunnels, and you can buy a ready-made one here.