Meet the monitors: Holly and Abbie from Nottingham

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Hi, my name is Holly and I have been volunteering with the Nottinghamshire Dormouse Group as part of the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP) since February 2019. I am currently studying at University and want to go into conservation when I graduate. For that reason, I began volunteering with the group to gain experience with species monitoring – I have to admit that monitoring such a cute species is a bonus!

I have to admit that monitoring such a cute species is a bonus!” – Holly

In Nottinghamshire there are three woodlands to monitor, and I assist the license holders with checking the dormouse nest boxes and handling the dormice to gain data such as sex, weight and age class. Earlier this year I began a traineeship to gain a dormouse license, which is very exciting!

My experiences with this monitoring programme have also led me to do my final year University dissertation project on assessing hedgerow suitability surrounding the monitored woodlands in Nottinghamshire, through conduction of the PTES hedgerow survey and use of footprint tunnels.

Hello, my name is Abbie – me and Holly are sisters! I’ve been volunteering with the Nottinghamshire Dormouse Group for around a year. I am also at University and am aiming to get a career in conservation after my degree. This inspired me to begin volunteering with the group – to gain practical experience, develop my skills in conservation and contribute to the monitoring of a rare species in Nottinghamshire.

During the monitoring sessions, I assist the license holders by approaching the dormouse nest boxes (carefully!) to check for any inhabitants, and by handling the dormice to record data such as sex, age, class, breeding condition and weight – all providing vital information for the PTES National Dormouse Monitoring Programme. During the hibernation season, I am involved with habitat management of the woodlands, for example tree coppicing, to make the habitat more suitable for dormice.

We have both loved getting to know the other volunteers in the group, and are looking forward to gaining more experience through monitoring the Nottinghamshire dormice in the future!

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme. Along with our partners at Natural England, PTES collate records from over 400 dormouse monitoring sites across the UK. The NDMP now has hundreds of trained monitors regularly checking dormouse boxes throughout the year. We’re extremely grateful to all our dormouse monitors for their great contribution to dormouse conservation. If you’d like to donate to our work to help us continue conserving this vulnerable species, please donate here. Thank you.

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We'd love to tell you about our conservation work through our regular newsletter Wildlife World, and also how you can save endangered species through volunteering, taking action or donating. You must be 18 or over. The information that you provide will be held by People’s Trust for Endangered Species. For information on how PTES processes personal data, please see our privacy policy.

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