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Hazel dormice mitigation license

When an area of land is due to be developed an ecological consultant will usually be employed to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). For dormice they will obtain records from the local records centre (LRC) and/or the National Biodivesity Network (NBN). With very few exceptions we upload all dormouse data onto the NBN where it’s available for LRC’s.

The EIA assesses likelihood of dormice being present on the site based on the age and proximity of the dormouse records and the habitat. If it’s considered possible a dormice could be using the site for nesting and breeding or as a dispersal route, a dormouse survey will be necessary. This is a standardised survey using nest tubes. It identifies whether dormice are present or likely to be absent. If they’re present, based on nest box occupation, it’ll indicate likely population size and a mitigation license will be required from Natural England or Natural Recourses Wales.

The mitigation licence details both how the existing habitat is to be cleared and how new habitat will be created to ensure that there’s no nett loss of suitable dormouse habitat available at the site. Creation of new habitat can include planting new woodlands, scrub banks or hedges, and managing existing and retained habitat. Habitat fragmentation at the site can be improved by suitable planting or by use or arboreal bridges.

A long-term management plan and the means to implement it are key to the continued survival of dormice at a site.

We have been working to save hazel dormice in the UK for over 20 years. Find out about our campaigns and how you can help.


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