Watch: Dormouse population surveyed at Briddlesford Woods

The National Trust have been surveying Briddlesford Woods for dormice as part of a national programme.

The National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP) partnered with the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) who own the woods to survey the area’s healthy hazel dormouse population.

The population is monitored four times a year by volunteers and trainee surveyors who are training to get their dormouse licence.

Dormice are protected by law and a licence is required in order to handle or disturb the species.

Catherine Hadler, a National Trust area ranger who was training future licence holders at Briddlesford woods said: “They are arboreal [creatures] and so tree and scrub cover is vital to them to enable them to move around – they rarely come down to the ground.

“They also hibernate from around November to April and at this time of year they are fattening up for winter – on cold days like the weekend they may be found in torpor which is like a mini hibernation and is what the snoring dormouse was doing.

A dormouse at Briddlesford Woods – photo by National Trust

“When they hibernate fully they go down into the stumps and roots of trees and build a hibernation nest and stay there over the cold months.”