Wildwood Trust

Hazel Dormice

Wildwood Trust is a unique centre of excellence for the conservation of British Wildlife. Set in 37 acres of ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The charitable aims of the Trust are, the promotion of conservation; the protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment; the advancement of education in conservation, ecology, biodiversity, sustainable development and British flora and fauna.

Wildwood came into existence in a direct response to the need to safeguard populations of endangered species in the UK and to raise awareness about wildlife conservation. Hazel Dormice live in isolated pockets of habitat, and numbers are declining. They are a Biodiversity Action Plan species, endangered, and need help from captive breeding facilities and release schemes to boost population numbers. Wildwood are the studbook holders for the Hazel Dormouse Captive Breeders Group in the UK and provide healthy adult dormice to the reintroduction programmes helping to restore the former range of dormice in the UK. Wildwood provides training in habitat and nest box monitoring for volunteers and the releases are managed through the People`s Trust for Endangered Species.

Restore has provided funds to assist in a number of areas such as; improving food quality for breeding pairs; costs related to the hand-rearing of orphaned dormice; staff and vets costs relating to habitat monitoring and issues which ensure the optimum health of released dormice.

In 2018 a further grant was agreed to facilitate the construction of five new dormice breeding enclosures, ten nest boxes and heating and over-wintering costs for rescued dormice juveniles.This will help to increase the numbers of dormice Wildwood can provide for release sites in collaboration with Wildlife Trusts around the UK.

Click here to see a video of one of our orphaned dormouse babies being fed by hand.

Dormouse eating blackberries.
Photo: Hugh Clark © Wildwood Trust

Hand rearing dormouse Photo: © Peter Smith

Reading a microchip © Wildwood Trust

Torpid dormouse © Wildwood Trust

Putting dormouse into soft-release cage © Wildwood Trust