What to Do if You Find a Dormouse?

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What to Do if You Find a Dormouse?

Did you know that dormice are protected by law? This makes them a protected species. Whilst it may be common knowledge that they are covered by UK and EU law, it’s not always clear what to do if you spot one and the best way to go about helping these creatures. With populations declining, here is our guide on what to do if you find a dormouse.

1.      Don’t Approach It

If you see a dormouse, your initial instinct may be to get closer, but if you find a dormouse, we suggest keeping your distance. Sudden movements or loud movements can scare them off. We suggest watching them from a safe distance and trying not to disturb them or their habitat.

As mentioned above, they are protected by law. This means, that you need a license to handle or move a dormouse and to do so without one is illegal. The best thing to do is to contact a professional who has the appropriate license to handle dormice.

 2. Take Note of It’s Habitat

When keeping a safe distance, look at the surrounding area. Does this look like it’s natural habitat? These creatures are usually found in woodlands and dense scrub so by identifying their habitat, can help conservation efforts and help keep these areas protected.

3. Report it

Once you spot a dormouse, don’t forget to report the sighting to relevant governing bodies. For example, local wildlife groups and local authorities.

It’s important to be aware of this as planning permission applications may require a dormouse survey to be conducted if it is a potential habitat, so if one is spotted, it’s vital that this is communicated.  

Who to Report a Sighting to

-The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES)

PTES encourage sightings as they look after the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme. You can report a sighting on their website.

– Local Wildlife Trusts

Support and advice are offered by local wildlife trusts. They are known for their frequent work on dormouse conservation projects.

– Natural England

As the government’s advisor on the natural environment in England, they can provide advice and take appropriate action if necessary.

5. Habitats Are Important Too!

The law doesn’t just protect dormice, but also their habitats, making it illegal to destroy or damage them. This means it’s important to take steps to protect the habitat, especially during their hibernation period.

If you think there are dormice present on your property or on the land you’re looking to develop, get in touch with Greenlight. Our team will be happy to help and answer any questions you may have.