November 2011

posted 16 Nov 2011, 14:44 by Haley Whittall   [ updated 6 Jul 2012, 08:19 ]
In order to be able to start the Dormouse surveys nest boxes and tubes were installed at three local sites.  Volunteers also cleared areas of dense bracken in order to begin the reptile surveys.

Although the surveys were started quite late in the season for both Dormice and reptiles, initial results are very encouraging. Already a colony of Slow worms have been discovered at one site and individual Grass snakes, Adders and Common lizards observed at another.

Volunteers look at Dormouse nest
The news is even better for Dormice.  Ecologist Kate Ryland was delighted to be able to share with a small group of volunteers the rare experience of observing seven Dormice from one section of woodland.  Volunteers were also lucky to see numerous signs of Dormouse activity (nests and gnawed hazelnuts) during the visit.  Since Dormice live in low densities, observing seven during one survey is quite significant.
Volunteers look at Dormouse Nest

Kate was also able to take another group of volunteers to another site where there were some encouraging signs of possible Dormouse presence.

Kate Ryland preparing to weigh  Dormouse as part of the National Dormouse Survey Recording Scheme
The Crowborough Conservation Dormouse surveys will feed into the National Dormouse Survey Recording Scheme, where vital data about the numbers of Dormice found, their weight and general health is collected across the whole of the UK.
Kate Ryland preparing to weigh a Dormouse                                                     
As well as continuing the reptile surveys in 2012, a series of pond and amphibian surveys are also planned to coincide with the amphibian breeding season in the spring.

If you are interested in taking part in surveys for reptiles, amphibians or Dormice, please let us know.