Accessibility Homepage Skip navigation Sitemap


Register and log in to gain access to our forums and chat about everything 'hedgehog'!

Thank you for looking to contribute to the Hedgehog Street forum. Please note that when submitting replies or posts, these are run through our spam-checkers, so there may be a slight delay in your posts appearing, and reflecting in the forum post details below. However, if you think anything has gone awry please contact us.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent the views of PTES or BHPS.

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Marking Hedgehogs? Reply To: Marking Hedgehogs?


Interesting discussion.

I have to admit I have always marked hedgehogs that visit my garden. I have never seen anything like people are describing such as spray painting, painting etc or used it myself. I always use nail varnish. I understand what people are saying regarding chemicals etc, but considering that a) it dries very quickly and b) some of the things hedgehogs are likely to walk through/fall into etc, I don’t think this is as big a problem. An example the other night, was Pinky who decided to start eating some sheep wool slug repellent, hedgehog friendly, which is the most atrocious smelling thing ever, and he began to self-anoint his sides with it! If anything was going to put off two hedgehogs mating, that would be it. I’ve witnessed lots of hedgehogs in the past snuffling at each other, neither being put off by a bit of varnish. Also the babies, so I know there are breeding hedgehogs in my garden/area.

The idea of catching a hedgehog to do this is amazing to me simply because it has never happened. They are eating the food I leave them, I pop out, mark them and then leave. Never had a hedgehog that hasn’t returned. I often go out and check all is well with the garden in the evening, with the frogs etc as we have cats in the area, and often I might come across a hedgehog that scuttles off as I have disturbed it, but they return and don’t seem to care about me at all. I think if hedgehogs were traumatised by their encounters with humans to the point they wouldn’t return to a place which is very, very nice for them and with good food, I’d know by now.

I also have to say that without marking hedgehogs either at the back or on their head, I would have had no idea at all that the numbers in my garden have dropped from 13 visitors in the space of a few days to now just one hedgehog I see all the time. I would also not have known for example, that Bluey, who obviously has got bigger since I first saw him, has survived for three years. Or that I have not seen him since March. Or that Turquoise who was new a few months ago, and would be waiting on the patio for his food for me every night was the hedgehog I found in the middle of the day, dead in my garden.

Without the knowledge of the numbers decreasing in my area, I doubt very much my already hedgehog friendly garden would be even more so, this information, whilst not for a national scheme, but for myself, encouraged me to do much more, including making sure I am always on the lookout for those in need, and doing so I have saved the lives of numerous daytime babies, who I luckily was able to pass on to skilled and caring people who then returned them to my garden when they were old enough. Several times I have mentioned marking hedgehogs in the presence of wildlife specialists and no one has ever said anything about “don’t do it”.

I think for those of us who are not doing it for “fun” or because the hedgehogs look “cool”, some of the opinions here are a little harsh. I try my best for these creatures, spend money each week on their food as well as the birds. I have just spent an hour waterproofing two new hedgehog houses, and am now about to go and gather material to make them more natural.

As a first time poster, I was tempted not to reply, but I felt that it should be known that not everyone can tell the difference between animals, and as long as no harm is caused, I personally don’t believe what I am doing is causing any problems whatsoever, I will continue to do so. It is my way of checking up on hedgehogs in my garden, making sure they are healthy, and hopefully seeing an increase in numbers.

I don’t see why this should make me less of a friend to hedgehogs than those who can tell exactly who is coming to their garden by sight.