Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are you doing to help the dormouse?
  2. Where and when can I see a dormouse?
  3. Why is the dormouse in trouble?
  4. Why will dormouse nest boxes make a difference?
  5. Is the dormouse protected by law?
  6. Is the dormouse a mouse?
  7. What can I do?
  8. What is coppicing?
  9. What habitat does the dormouse need?
  10. Why do they need to move between populations?
  11. Why deer fencing?
  12. What does arboreal mean?
  13. How will our work overcome the isolation issue?
  14. Shall I make some boxes for you?
  15. Can I visit a dormouse box?
  16. Where can I find out more about the dormouse?
  17. How will my donation make a difference?
  18. What is the Dormouse Nest Box Monitoring Programme (NDMP)?
  19. Can I take part in the National Dormice Monitoring Programme?
  20. How can I donate?
  21. How else can I get involved with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust?

1. What are you doing to help the dormouse?

Our Dormice in Danger Appeal aims to help reverse this devastating decline at a local level. Our dormouse project has three main elements:
1) We will work to enhance dormouse habitat by managing the woodlands on our nature reserves with existing dormouse populations.
2) We will increase monitoring work through the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP) to monitor breeding success as well as population size.
3) We will work within the wider countryside to create corridors of habitat to link sites with existing dormouse populations to increase dispersal.

Click here to find out more


2. Where and when can I see a dormouse?

Dormice are arboreal, nocturnal, are really difficult to see, you do need a special handling licence to be able to see dormice up close. 

A great way to see if dormice are living in a wood is to look out for nibbled nuts during the autumn months. After nibbling hazelnuts, they leave a very distinctive pattern around the edge. Why not come along to our Great Nut Hunt on 28th October in Lower Woods to find out more. 


3. Why is the dormouse in trouble? 

Dormice need well-managed woodlands connected by hedgerows so that they can spread. But changes in woodland management, farming practices, loss of hedgerows and the fragmentation of woodland have all taken a heavy toll on their living space.

Click here to find out more


4. Why will dormouse nest boxes make a difference?

Nest boxes are used to monitor dormice population numbers, through surveys carried out by experts during the summer and early autumn. The results of these surveys are fed into the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP). A national monitoring programme that has been running for the past 25 years.

Monitoring nest boxes will also allow us to monitor the breeding success of a population and they provide additional shelter.

Inspecting nest boxes requires a licence from Natural England or Natural Resources Wales in areas where dormice are already known to be present. If boxes or tubes are put out speculatively to detect presence, this in itself does not require a licence, but a licence is essential once the first dormouse has been found.


5. Is the dormouse protected by law?

The hazel dormouse is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species and European Protected Species listed under Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive (1992) and is protected under the UK Habitats Regulations. 


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6. Is the dormouse a mouse?

The hazel dormice is part of the most ancient group of rodents in the world, dating back more than 40 million years, but they are not mice. 


7.What can I do?

Donate whatever you can spare to the Dormice in Danger Appeal or volunteer your time to help dormouse conservation work. Donate now.


8.What is coppicing?

Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management which takes advantage of the fact that many trees make new growth from the stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, which is called a copse, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level.


9. What habitat does the dormouse need?

Dormice need well-managed woodland connected by hedgerows. A mosaic of woodland habitat of different ages and growth with a woody understorey is perfect for the dormouse, providing shelter, nesting materials, and foraging opportunities. The dormouse uses hazel as a source of nesting materials and fruits and nuts. 


10. Why do they need to move between habitats?

It's important for dormouse to be able to move between habitats to allow for population growth. - check dormouse per area. 


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11. Why are you putting up deer fencing?

Deers love to feed on new young shoots and so newly coppiced areas of woodland are perfect. Unfortunately, deer will eat all the new growth and will prevent the coppiced wood from growing and providing food and shelter for dormice. We will put deer fencing up around freshly coppiced areas until the growth is old enough for the deer not to be interested. 


12. What does arboreal mean?

An arboreal animal is an animal that spends most of it's time living in the trees and in the woodland canopy, rarely venturing down to the woodland floor. Although, dormice do hibernate on the ground where it is warmer. 


13. How will your work overcome the isolation issue?

Our hedgeherow management work and work with landowners around our nature reserves will help improve the connections between areas with dormice populations allowing them to spread and thrive. 


14. Shall I make some boxes for you?

We are asking people to donate old wooden tea chests, which are perfect for converting into barn owl nest boxes. 


15. Can I visit a dormouse box?

Dormouse nest boxes will be located on some of our woodland reserves, but you do need a Dormouse Handling Licence to be able to check and look inside a nest box and only experts are able to survey and handle dormice. 


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16. Where can I find out more about the dormouse?

Species page on our website

People's Trust for Endangered Species


17. How will my donation make a difference?

Every penny of your donation will make a direct contribution towards the Dormice in Danger Appeal project and help the dormice survive in your local area.

£15 could pay for a dormouse nest box

£20 could pay for a fruit tree whose blossom would provide a vital food source

£80 could pay to plant 15 metres of vital hedgerow

£100 could pay for 18 metres of fencing to protect new growth


18. What is the Dormouse Monitoring Programme? 

The National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP) is a national monitoring scheme run by PTES, Royal Holloway University of London and Natural England. The scheme collates and inputs records from around 400 dormouse monitoring sites across the UK. The NDMP has been running for the past 25 years and has several hundred trained monitors responsible for organising surveys using dormouse boxes throughout the year.
Last year 6,182 dormice were recorded and 414 sites submitted their records. 


19. Can I take part in the Dormouse Monitoring Programme?

You can volunteer with our Dormouse ?
If you are interested in regularly monitoring dormice you will need to apply for a dormouse licence via Natural England or Natural Resources Wales. You will need to visit a site at least twice a year (May/June and Sept/Oct). You can find additional resources on our dormouse training pages. Monitors will receive The Dormouse Monitor newsletter twice a year and you can also sign up to an online dormouse discussion forum. 

We run a Dormouse Ecology Course for anyone looking to gain a dormouse handling licence. This year's has now been, but keep a look-out on our website for details for next year's course. 

Anyone of any age can get involved in looking for dormice by carrying out a nut hunt, why not come along to our Great Nut Hunt on 28th October?


20. How can I donate?

You can donate through our website, by calling us on 01452 383333.


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21. How else can I get involved with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust?

There are plenty of other ways you can support Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. 

  • Become a volunteer - whether you have a couple of hours of a couple of days to spare, volunteering is a great way to get out, get fit and get involved in helping to protect your local wildlife.
  • Come along to one of our events - with over 150 'Wild' events taking place throughout the year, From wildlife identification courses, to practical days, to family fun days out, there is something to suit everybody.
  • Become a member - Be part of something special and really make a difference to protect and preserve Gloucestershire's wildlife for today, and the future.
  • Leave a gift in your will - by leaving us a gift in your will you can help us protect the precious wildlife of Gloucestershire
  • Adopt a species - Adopt for yourself or give the gift of wildlife and help protect Gloucestershire's valuable wildlife. 
  • Become a Corporate member - If your business wants to help local wildlife, invest in the local community and contribute to a healthier environment, you could benefit from a relationship us.
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Downloads

FilenameFile size
Dr Kathy Meakin's Lower Woods nut hunt report 2016.doc1.81 MB