Dormouse Survey Essex

Just before Easter 2019 I was able to join a dormouse survey in a local wood. To say I was excited… I had never seen a dormouse in the wild, let alone to prospect of getting close to one.

Graham and the team were on hand to train up volunteers and get them comfortable enough to assist the qualified handlers should there be any dormice around.

Our task, to check the 100 dormouse boxes that had been put up as a survey in the wood.

The woodland was brimming with spring song from chiffchaffs and willow warblers and on the floor, blankets of bluebells had started to give the forest a new hue.

Around box 50 all of us were thinking that we may well be out of luck. Still great to see blue tits and great tits up close having made the boxes their own home. Wrens were also nesting in many.

Then suddenly luck struck. I had found a torpid dormouse asleep in a box. Calling the pros in we brought the box over to record the dormouse. She was incredibly sleepy, only waking up to the warmth of the hand after a good few minutes. Even then she was incredibly docile and allowed the researchers to get their measurements before returning her to her box.

An incredible experience and can’t wait to join another group.

Thanks to all involved.

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