The usual ways to survey for Common Dormouse are by putting up nestboxes to see if they get used, or searches for hibernation nests in winter, and most popular – searches for hazel nut shells, which are nibbled in a very particular way by dormice! We tried these methods in 2002-2004 without success. However, after finding a rather distinctive nest on the farm (in a bumblebee box!) I’m hopeful that we might have dormice at Sheepdrove. Certainly it is possible, and if we confirmed this mouse was here, it would be fantastic. Another rare mammal we that know we have is the meek and mysterious Harvest Mouse.
Our farm wildife volunteers will be surveying for signs of these mice this year. Join us if you like…
Meanwhile the volunteers and I have built some dormouse nestboxes, using a simple, multi-use nestbox design that I came up with. I’ve adapted this box for small birds and bats too.
click pictures to enlarge