Dormouse Survey Stroud, Gloucestershire

We recently carried out a dormouse nest tube survey at an agricultural site near Stroud in Gloucestershire. The survey erecting nest boxes and tubes in suitable dormouse habitat such as hedgerows, scrub and woodland across the proposed development site. Dormice gain shelter and nest in the boxes and tubes and it is therefore possible to identify their presence within the survey area. We installed 50 boxes and tubes across the site and monitored them once a month between May to November. High numbers of wood mice nests were recorded over the survey duration, but no dormice or nests suggestive of dormice were recorded. Therefore, despite the fact that the site superficially appeared suitable for this species, our thorough survey effort enabled us to confidently rule their presence and the subsequent potential for adverse impacts to dormice to be ruled out. The project subsequently progressed smoothly through the planning process.

From our offices in Cardiff and Exeter, Acer Ecology’s fully licensed ecologists are well placed to carry out dormouse surveys in and around Stroud and the Cotswolds. We can serve Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Cirencester, Lydney and the wider Forest of Dean. We are also able to serve the the counties surrounding Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

There are three main methods of surveying for dormouse, comprising nest box, 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. Dormouse gain shelter and nest in the boxes and tubes. The nut search method involves checking hazel nuts for the distinctive pattern left by dormouse as they feed on the nuts.

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. 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 will requires the agreement of a method statement which will ensure that dormouse 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.

More information on the hazel dormouse can be found in our dormouse article.

For more information about dormouse surveys, please  call us on 02920 650331, or email enquiries@acerecology.co.uk.