The year started with the launch of one of our largest native woodland planting projects this year. As part of the Gatwick Airport Flood Alleviation Scheme, Ecosulis’ HCEC Team were asked to conduct a five-year habitat creation and maintenance program for the Environment Agency in Crawley. Our task for the first phase of works in 2016, was to plant over 4,500 trees and shrubs to create a new woodland habitat that would be beneficial to the Dormice that have been found in adjacent woodland around the site.
The common or hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) has traditionally been linked to hazel coppice and is well known as a mammal that lives in semi-natural broadleaved woodland. It is also known to use species-rich hedgerows and scrub which are well connected between suitable woodland habitats.
Dormice are very rarely seen and one of our Assistant Ecological Consultants, Marc Anderton, was lucky enough to get up close and personal with a few recently, whilst on a Dormouse course in Somerset.
Ecosulis recently donated 500 dormouse tubes to the Somerset Wildlife Trust, which were previously used on one of our large infrastructure projects. The tubes will be used within dormouse monitoring schemes and other initiatives by the trust. Monitoring works are undertaken to provide an indication of population size and the health of dormouse populations in Somerset and the south west.