Dormouse Surveys

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Dormouse Surveys in Hampshire & the UK

The Dormouse is a small nocturnal mammal which can be found in woodland and species rich hedgerows, particularly in the south of England. An increasingly rare species due to habitat loss, fragmentation and the isolation of populations it is fully protected under Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) and the Habitats Regulations (2010). This makes it an offence to kill or injure Dormice as well as disturb them in their place of rest (i.e. habitat).

Dormice & Developments

If a development is likely to affect areas of woodland or linked hedgerows, then a Dormouse survey will be required to establish the presence or likely absence. Methods typically involve;

  • Nesting tubes / boxes - These are set out over the hibernation period (winter months) amongst woodland (typically around Hazel) or within hedgerows ready for checking from early spring until late autumn. Evidence includes droppings, summer nests and Dormice themselves.
  • Searching for gnawed Hazel nuts - This is the most effective method of establishing if there are Dormice present on site and can be carried out at any time though winter months are more preferable.

Mitigation

If it is possible ecological mitigation for Dormice should be avoided and the area's of hedgerow or woodland retained and protected during development. If this is not possible then a European Protected Species Licence would be required from Natural England and a detailed strategy of mitigation and compensation implemented.