Dormouse Surveys

Hazel Dormice & the Law

The Hazel Dormouse is a small nocturnal arboreal mammal which can be found in woodland and species-rich hedgerows, particularly in the south of England. An increasingly rare species due to habitat loss, fragmentation and the isolation of populations, it is fully protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) and the Habitats Regulations (2017). This makes it an offence to kill or injure dormice as well as disturb them in their place of rest (i.e. habitat).

If a development is likely to affect areas of woodland, scrub or linked hedgerows, then a dormouse survey will be required to establish their presence or likely absence.

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Phase II dormouse survey

A Phase II dormouse survey is undertaken by setting out nest tubes and/or boxes in woodland (particularly around Hazel) and hedgerows. The tubes/boxes are checked many times between April and November to search for evidence of dormice. Evidence includes droppings, summer nests and dormice themselves. The ground can also be searched for gnawed Hazel nuts and this check can be carried out at any time of year, although late autumn is the most preferred time.


If it is possible ecological mitigation for dormice should be avoided and the areas of hedgerow or woodland retained and protected during development. If this is not possible then a European Protected Species Licence would be required from Natural England and a detailed strategy of mitigation and compensation implemented.

Dormouse bridge

Animex has developed an arboreal wildlife bridge in association with the People's Trust for Endangered Species, which can help mitigate and connect fragmented dormouse habitat. The bridge can be installed in a custom design to ensure the most effective and pragmatic solution for each site. Watch the video presentation below to learn more about the effectiveness of the Animex wildlife bridge.

Our experience

Ecosupport has several experienced dormouse surveyors and a licensed dormouse worker with considerable expertise in survey, evaluation and mitigation for dormice. We have obtained a number of European Protected Species licences for our clients to deliver beneficial and pragmatic mitigation to meet planning conditions.

About us

Providing quality ecology services across southern England and beyond since 1999.

At Ecosupport we complete comprehensive ecological reports for Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, Phase I Surveys, BREEAM, NVC Vegetation and Hedgerows and Phase II Surveys for protected species such as bats, reptiles, dormice, GCN, birds and badgers. We work directly with our clients to deliver pragmatic results and can implement any required mitigation or habitat restoration to see through your ecological needs from start to finish. Our large network of ecologists enables us to offer all our services all across the UK.

Ecosupport is SSIP-certified through SMAS Ltd.


Ecosupport - Head Office
K4 Keppel, Daedalus Park
Daedalus Drive, Lee-on-the-Solent
PO13 9FX


01329 832 841

Telephone (International)

+44 1329 832 841