Dormouse, bird and bat boxes

Dormice, bird and bat boxes made from our larch or ash wood. Can be left untreated or exterior treated with natural linseed oil. Bulk orders welcome.

To be placed in likely dormouse habitat, where it is believed dormice are present, to encourage dormice to breed. These are not inspection boxes (i.e. the lid does not lift up) and if you think dormice are present, you must not look inside the box during the summer, when the box may be in use, without training and a license.

A brief introduction to the dormouse is below but please look for more information online.

Dormice live in dense hedgerow and mixed woods – their habitat is influenced by their diet and shelter requirements. They need both dense cover (such as found in hedges that are cut annually) and flowers, fruit and nuts, which will grow on hedges and trees that are left to grow for some years between cuttings. Boxes are likely to be more effective if they are placed in habitat that has lots of food sources but fewer potential nest sites, for example hedges that have not been cut for some years, or the edges of mixed woodland. You can also use plastic tubes and drill 28mm diameter holes, a few cm deep, into tree stumps.

Their diet includes flower pollen, nuts, berries and small insects such as aphids. Their four most important food sources are thought to be hazel, bramble, honeysuckle and oak. They breed during July and August, and the box may be in use between spring and early September, when the mice can use it as a sleeping space and as a nest for young.

Place dormouse boxes away from public areas, around two metres off the ground and positioned so that dormice will be able to climb up to the box using branches or climbers – honeysuckle is ideal. It is set up with the hole facing the tree. Attach securely using wire, string or a strap so that the box does not damage the tree.

Dormice hibernate between October-November and March in crevices at ground level, so in the late autumn it will be safe to check the box for debris and clean out rotten material. There is a good document here with photos showing the nests of different species. If you find evidence that there has been a dormouse using your nest box add your data to the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme.

The dormouse population is declining in the UK and it is considered to be a vulnerable species and listed as a UK BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) species. It has the strongest protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

 

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