Hazel Dormice are our only native dormouse. Once widespread in the South Lakes, now they are only recorded in a few locations.
Head-body length: 6.5 - 8cm
Tail length: 80% of body length
Weight: 20g (but can be 35g prior to hibernation)
Lifespan: Up to 5 years
- Dormice eat Hazel nuts in a specific way: they create a perfect circle with a smooth edge at the top to get the nut out of the shell.
- They help to pollenate by carrying pollen on their whiskers.
- They are predominantely arboreal (tree-living) but are known to visit the ground, travel along the woodland floor and hibernate in field edges.
- They can have one or two litters per year, between May and September.
- They are noctural creatures (active at night).
- They spend six to eight months of the year in a deep sleep (hibernation), using their body-fat as a food source. They are known as a 'sleeper' or 'sleep' mouse, which is where their name came from: Dormir - French for 'sleep'.
- Woodland management including creating rides, glades, coppice coups and a varied structure helps to encourage Dormice as they favour scrub and bramble habitat for feeding and nesting.