Dormice are fully protected under UK and European law and consequently it is an offence to kill, capture, or disturb them, or to damage their habitats.
There are three main methods of surveying for dormouse, comprising nest boxes, tube surveys and nut searches. Nest box and tube surveys involve erecting nest boxes or tubes in suitable dormouse habitat such as hedgerows, scrub and woodland. Dormice gain shelter and nest in the boxes and tubes. The nut search method involves checking hazel nuts for the distinctive pattern left by dormice as they feed on the nuts.
Dormouse surveys can be time consuming, as nest box and tube surveys can take up to six months to complete from March to October. Nut searches can be undertaken throughout the year but produce the most reliable results between September and November.
If a proposed development is likely to affect dormouse, then a European Protected Species Licence will be required prior to the commencement of works. The licence application process requires the agreement of a method statement which will ensure that dormice can continue to occupy the site after the development has been completed. If dormouse habitat loss is unavoidable as a result of a development, mitigation will involve phased clearance, coupled with the translocation or replanting of trees and shrubs of similar extent to those lost. Very occasionally it will be necessary to capture and transfer dormice away from the development site to a pre-prepared receptor area.
Our licensed dormouse specialists are experienced in surveying, European Protected Species licensing, as well as mitigation design and implementation for dormice.
More information on the hazel dormouse can be found in our dormouse article.
For more information call us on 029 2065 0331.