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Guest authors

Hazel dormouse in Briddlesford Woods - Isle of Wight. Credit Clare Pengelly (4)

David Talbot describes his experience volunteering this summer with the Back On Our Map (BOOM), Natural England and Morecambe Bay Partnership (MBP) during the landmark release of the 1000th hazel dormouse in Britain, as part of PTES’ National Dormouse Reintroduction Programme. Getting involved in citizen science My experience as a volunteer started pre Covid-19 in …

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Common-shrew-Erni-Shutterstock-

Supporter Kenneth Phipps sheds light on some of Britain’s smallest and often overlooked mammals. The British mainland has three species of shrew, common, pygmy, and water shrew, and all of these little insectivores have intriguing lifestyles. Shrinking shrews Common, pygmy and water shrews undergo a sudden reduction in body weight during winter. This isn’t due …

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Greater-horseshoe-bat-Carl-Allen-Shutterstock

Guest author, Anna Shaw, looks at the importance of insects in the diets of mammals, and what we can do to stock up our garden larder. Insects make up a lesser or greater part of the diets of many British mammals. Badgers, hedgehogs, shrews and some voles and mice, for example, consume insects as part …

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Brown rat

Neighbours, however good, don’t always rub along smoothly and sometimes the attentions of our wild ones can be unwanted. But lethal pest-control methods are often indiscriminate and don’t necessarily solve the problem. Kevin Newell, from Humane Wildlife Solutions, looks at the more humane and ecologically-minded alternative to discourage rats in your garden. Sadly, when someone …

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Hazel Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius ) |Haselmaus

All organisms shed DNA into the environment. Sources of DNA include mucus, hair or fur, skin, urine and faeces. This environmental DNA, or eDNA, can be extracted from samples taken in the wild (usually soil or water) and used to detect different species, measure biodiversity, and even look at the abundance of different animals. It’s …

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dormice with nut

A project at Fingle Woods A woodland conservation scheme that PTES is funding in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund is making new discoveries about how dormice colonise recovering habitat. The project is located in Fingle Woods, a site jointly owned by the National Trust and Woodland Trust, in the north of Dartmoor in Devon. …

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Water vole Mark Bridger shutterstock

Isabel Fry has been out surveying water voles as part of the National Water Vole Monitoring Programme, which PTES runs every year. Find out more about the programme and get involved here. Found along our waterways, water voles are similar-looking to the brown rat, but with a blunt nose, small ears and furry tail. Sadly, …

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House mice Erni Shutterstock

It’s that time of year again when spring is upon us. The birds are singing in the trees, the bees are buzzing in the meadows and all around us there are many species of mammal that are performing courtship displays, some of which are very intricate and surprising. I’m sure we’ve all seen squirrels chasing …

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1c

Hazel dormice build different nests for different purposes: hibernating, breeding or just resting. Sometimes they don’t build a nest at all. But the different types of nests they do build might help us work out how much time dormice spend in different habitats. As part of my work at Fingle Woods, owned by the Woodland …

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wildlife-dormouse-10

Voles, rats, shrews, mice, and hazel dormice can be difficult to study. Their size and behaviour make them hard to find and, living predominantly in the shrub layer and being nocturnal, makes hazel dormice even more tricky. Occasionally though, these small creatures give themselves away by their vocalisations. Whilst we may hear an indistinguishable high-pitched …

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Hazel dormouse Angyalosi Beata Shutterstock

You might stumble upon a slightly frazzled looking person in a tatty woolly hat and a big purple jacket held together in places by duct tape. She may well be muttering to herself as she walks, very slowly, up and down between two lines of tape. At first glance, she appears to be metal-detecting – …

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Hazel dormouse Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH Shutterstock.com

Ian Powell and the Arun Countryside Trust Few people know the woods on Tortington Common in West Sussex as well as Ian Powell. A local man, interested in natural history, he has lived his life with a passion for conserving the ancient woodlands of the Arun Valley. For two decades Ian, the principal dormouse monitor …

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