Looking after our planet

Hazel dormice during the summer

Species such as hazel dormice are more active during the summer months and their preferred breeding sites are generally rail embankments and roadside verges where the public generally have no access. These environments provide the ideal “sanctuaries” for these beautiful animals.

Ecologists are often asked to survey and assess areas to determine suitability for hazel dormice and whilst a habitat assessment can be undertaken at almost any time of year the whole survey process which is required to enable us to successfully apply for a European Protected Species Licence (EPS) takes many months to complete and this can have a significant impact upon planning projects within our industry. 

The survey process initially assesses the variety of food species available as well as looking for nuts which have been gnawed by dormice and it is then followed up by placing nesting boxes and tubes in high-risk areas and monitoring over several months.

The key is to get an early start and to complete that initial assessment.

During emergency situations such as landslips ecologists need to work closely together as a team with all parties to come up with an effective solution whilst remaining within the law.

If you notice anything of concern or potential interest, please ensure you let your line manager, site manager or environmental manager know.

With thanks to Graeme Skinner MRSB, Managing Director Naturally Wild

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