Dormice and their habitats are fully protected by the Conservation of Habitats & Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
Implications for Development
Dormice should be considered where developments may impact woodland, hedges or scrub, particularly where these connect to suitable habitat off-site.
Two survey methods are available for dormice: Nest Tube Surveys and a Nut Search.
Nest tube surveys are possible between April and November and involve installing nest tubes within suitable habitat. The tubes are regularly checked by an ecologist for signs of dormice for c. 5 months of the season.
Nut searches are only possible on sites where significant hazel is present. Nut searches can be conducted between mid-August and December. The survey involves searching for fallen hazel nuts with distinctive gnaw marks left by dormice.
Mitigation & Compensation
A Mitigation License from Natural England is be required before there are any impacts to dormice and their habitat.
Dormouse surveys can take longer than any other protected species survey because they live at low densities making their presence difficult to detect.