Footprint tunnels are probably the best way to detect hedgehogs, they are easy to make and are lots of fun to use! Why not have a go at making one to see what wildlife is visiting your garden? This is a quick guide, but more detail can be found in the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and British Hedgehog Preservation Society survey handbook.
Step 1. Sheets of short flute (4mm) corrugated plastic (dimensions: 123x100cm) can be purchased online. One sheet with the above dimensions will make one footprint tunnel.
Step 2. A section measuring 21cm wide and 100cm long should be cut away from the rest, using a Stanley knife. This will be the insert panel that will contain the food, ink and paper. The remainder of the sheet can be split equally into four sections (each section roughly measuring 100cm x 25.5cm) and scored with something pointed but not sharp (you don’t want to cut these, just bend). Bend along each of these lines to make the pyramid shaped tunnel that can be seen in the middle photo below.
Step 3. Strips of Velcro can now be attached to hold the tunnel into the pyramid shape. Paper can be paper clipped to each end of the insert panel and masking tape wrapped around the panel above the plain paper at each end. The masking tape strip is where the ink should be painted. Ink can be made my mixing food grade carbon powder with vegetable oil.
We have footprint tunnels and wildlife cameras available for Ipswich residents to borrow. For more information, head to our website pages here.