Dormouse appeal

Help a dormouse

Returning dormice to the wild

Dormice have been disappearing from our countryside for the past century, as their woodland and hedgerow homes have been lost or fallen into poor condition. Our annual dormouse releases are critical in returning dormice to where they once lived.

This year we’re returning to two reintroduction sites. In Bedfordshire, dormice had almost completely disappeared over twenty years ago, so in 2001 we reintroduced 30 dormice into a woodland there. (A few years later at one of our annual checks we found 26 dormice; a good number indicating the dormice had made a happy home.) In another woodland further north in Lancashire, where we reintroduced dormice just three years ago, we’re now bolstering the population.

Why are we going back to these woodlands now? Successful dormouse reintroductions need plenty of dormice, and good genetic diversity. At both sites we’re seizing the opportunity to release animals from new bloodlines. We’ll release the new animals into areas of the woods that the existing populations haven’t reached yet and over time the populations will meet. Both woods, and every dormouse site across the country, need plenty of wooden nest boxes, where dormice can rear their young.

Every gift, large or small, helps our annual dormouse release. Successful reintroductions are the result of decades of planning, monitoring, captive breeding and of course, donations from people like you, who care about restoring our lost British wildlife. If we hadn’t released those first dormice decades ago, our woodlands would be an emptier place. But instead, dormice are now thriving in areas where they’d previously become extinct. What a testament to the dormouse breeding and release programme! If you can help this year’s release, it would be wonderful. Thank you.

Yes I want to return dormice to the wild.

With best wishes,

Ian White, Dormouse Officer.

Thank you.

Header image credit godi |