Hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius) are a European Protected Species predominantly found in the south and west of England and Welsh border counties, but also with scattered populations further north and east. They are usually associated with well-established broadleaved woodland, particularly Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, but also species-rich hedgerows scrub and coniferous plantations.
If suitable habitat is present on a site that falls within the known distribution range of dormice, further surveys may be required to determine their presence or likely absence. These usually take the form of nut and nest searches, and nest tube surveys.
Searches for nuts gnawed by Dormice are best carried out during mid-August to December, when fresh hazel nuts are present on the ground. If a nut search proves inconclusive, then a nest tube survey can be undertaken from April to November.
If dormice are found to be present via any of these survey methods then a European Protected Species Licence from the applicable Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO), e.g. Natural England, and suitable mitigation and compensation measures are likely to be required in order to proceed.
Our ecology consultants have successfully delivered multiple projects with dormouse constraints and we have highly experienced and suitably licenced ecologists that can smoothly guide you through the planning process and help you achieve your desired outcome.
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