Posted by: KimBoland | April 4, 2013

Dormouse Project Update

For those of you who have been following the story of our dormouse project, here’s an update from Kathryn our Ranger…

It’s that time of year when dormice will start to wake from their hibernation as the weather (hopefully!) warms up. So I thought it might be time for an update on all the work that’s been done with the Dormouse project.

So many people have got in touch, wanting to help. It seems no one is immune to their cuteness.

We’ve spent all the grant money given by Environment Wales on coppicing, survey tubes and wood to make boxes.

So far we’ve put up 38 boxes and we’ve got some more to do.  We’ve also got survey tubes which won’t last as long as the boxes, but are an easy method of establishing if you have dormice on your land.

Many thanks go out to our volunteers – Neath Port Talbot college have made 18 boxes and very kindly made me feel at home, when I visited their campus to tell them about the project.

Horitculture students from Neath Port Talbot College with their boxes

Horitculture students from Neath Port Talbot College with their boxes

Ross, Victoria, Neil and Emma  from the Environment Agency (soon to be Natural Resources Wales) also made some boxes and then helped put them up in Bishopston Valley.

Several of our regular Gower NT volunteers have made boxes as well as National Trust Working Holiday Volunteers.

Members of the Eco Club at Bishopston Comprehensive have also done some coppicing and put up boxes. Pupils from Bishopston Primary will be getting involved in the next few months. Olchfa School and Penclawdd Primary have also contributed to the success of the project.

Pupils from Bishopston Comprehensive Eco Club put up boxes

Pupils from Bishopston Comprehensive Eco Club put up boxes

We’ve even got desk bound central office staff out and about in the woods! and I have to say Lucy (Greenberry) was also very handy with a hammer.

So now the really exciting bit starts…monthly checking of the boxes from March to October.

From past experience I expect to find woodmice and shrews, blue tits and robins, slugs and woodlice, but what I really wish for, is to open a box to see a golden yellow body with a furry tail and big black eyes staring out at me. Fingers crossed…

I’ll keep you posted.

Kathryn Thomas, Ranger

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