Dormice are protected under schedule 5 of the WCA 1981 (as amended). This means they are protected from intentional or reckless disturbance, intentional or reckless obstruction of access to any place of shelter or protection; and/or, selling, offering or exposing for sale, possession or transporting for purpose of sale. Furthermore, Dormice are fully protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and the NERC Act, 2006.
There are several ways in which dormice may be surveyed and The Ecology Partnership are able to advise whether surveys for this species may be necessary, as well as the level and extent of survey required. Assessment for dormice includes evaluation of habitat suitability and potential impacts with presence/absence surveys ranging from simple analysis of gnawed hazelnuts, to full nest tube and footprint tunnel surveys. Whilst analysis of hazelnuts, if present, may be completed at any time of year, these should be backed up by more detailed nest tubes/footprint tunnel surveys which must be completed during the dormouse active season between April and November.
The Ecology Partnership has licensed dormouse survey workers (Natural England licence) to allow individuals to undertake dormouse surveys.
If dormice are found to be present within the site or within off-site connecting habitat, an appropriate mitigation strategy will be required for the scheme. The Ecology Partnership are able to provide advice on appropriate dormouse mitigation and if a EPS licence is required for the works, The Ecology Partnership can prepare the Natural England licence application on the client’s behalf.