Course: Dormouse Ecology

We're sorry to say the decision has been made to cancel this event.

Event details


9:30am to 4pm
A static map of Course: Dormouse Ecology

About the event

Principal Ecologist and Lecturer in mammal behaviour, regular dormouse monitor Dr Elizabeth Pimley uses her expert knowledge to teach those looking to gain their own dormouse licence.

The event will cover the fundamentals of dormouse ecology and conservation, including a broad range of skills that are needed to become a licensed dormouse handler.

The first part of the day will be an introduction and presentation on the ecology and conservation of dormice. This will also include identifying nuts opened by dormice and other small mammals. In the afternoon we will visit GWT's Poors Allotment Nature Reserve to gain experience in the practical side of dormouse monitoring.


  • Location: Tidenham Chase Old School Village Hall and Poor’s Allotment Nature Reserve
  • Tutor: Elizabeth Pimley
  • Date: Thursday 17th October 2019
  • Time: 9:30 - 16:00
  • Level: professionals and enthusiasts.
  • Refreshments included
  • Price: £125

Course expectations

Over the day the course will cover:

  • British dormouse classification and species identification
  • Hazel dormouse ecology
  • Protected species legislation
  • Dormouse habitat management and mitigation theory
  • Survey licensing (Natural England)
  • Survey calendar
  • Surveying techniques, measurements and data collection
  • Handling and animal welfare
  • Practical surveying using dormouse nest boxes
    • Design and construction
    • Optimal density, positioning and difficulties in practice
    • Nest box checking, handling and dormouse data collection
    • Equipment cleaning and sterilisation

This course contributes to the knowledge, skills and evidence needed to apply for a protected species license, but to obtain a license, attendees will need to train for at least a survey season and obtain the required two handling experience references.

About the Tutor

Dr Elizabeth Pimley works in both academic and consultancy sectors, focussing on mammalian ecology. As well as lecturing in mammal ecology at the University of Gloucestershire, Elizabeth manages the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Consultancy's Ecology Team.

Specialising in devising ecological mitigation schemes for protected UK species, biodiversity enhancement, and ecological design strategies, Elizabeth holds Natural England licences for dormice and other protected species.


09.15 : Registration and refreshments

09.30 : Welcome and introductions

09.45 : Indoors: Hazel dormouse Ecology and Legislation

11.15 : Indoors: Survey and Monitoring

12:30 : Lunch (note: bring packed lunch. Hot drinks provided)

13:30 : Outdoors: Practical dormouse survey and monitoring

15.30 : Discussion and review of the day

16.00 : Course ends

All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may change according to the weather, requirements of the group or wildlife factors.

What we provide

  • Light refreshments
  • All equipment needed
  • Course pack
  • Relevant guide books
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Reference in support of NE license application on successful completion

What to Bring


  • Weather appropriate outdoor clothing (we advise clothing to cover arms, legs and feet).
  • Appropriate outdoor footwear with good grip.
  • A packed lunch and water.


  • Notebook and pencil
  • Camera
  • Your own guide book if you have one

Useful Guides

Bullion (2001) FSC Fold-out Chart – Mammal Tracks and Signs

Meeting point/Location

Tidenham Chase Village Hall, Rosemary Lane, Tidenham Chase, Forest of Dean, Glos NP16 7LX

Parking and Transport

Both sites have limited free parking. There is a short drive required between sites so car sharing will be arranged on the day.

Accessibility and Health

If you have relevant medical or access requirements please let us know when booking.

Tidenham Chase Village Hall has some disabled access, easy parking and toilet.

Field visit approximately 3 hours on rough, muddy, wooded terrain, with gates and stiles.

Please contact course organiser Ellen Winter for more details - we are happy to work with you to facilitate attendance wherever possible.

About the Field Site

Slow worms warming themselves up under rocks, lizards basking on sunny gorse, woodcocks performing their roding display flight at dusk, pairs of breeding stonechats and evidence of hazelnuts chewed by dormice – the sites are full of possibility and discovery for wildlife enthusiasts, and peaceful beautiful open landscapes that everyone can appreciate.…

To read our Events Cancellation Policy, please click here.



£125 per person

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No dogs permitted

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