Average lifespan: 5 years
When to seeApril to October
AboutThe hazel dormouse (or just 'dormouse') is an agile climber and mainly nocturnal, so is rarely seen. It lives in deciduous woodland, hedgerows and dense scrub, and spends most of the spring and summer up in the branches, rarely coming down to the ground. It eats buds, hazelnuts, berries and insects. Hazel dormice build nests out of grasses, stripped honeysuckle bark and fresh hazel leaves, in which the female will give birth to up to seven young. They hibernate during the winter months, either on the ground (under logs, leaves, in grass tussocks and at the base of trees) or just beneath the ground where the temperature is more constant.
How to identifyThe hazel dormouse has gingery-brown fur, large black eyes and a long, fluffy tail; it is much smaller than a squirrel.
In our area
Dormice are widespread across Montgomeryshire, but never numerous or common. Expect them to be in any well-connected, good sized, healthy woodland.
We have dormice on four nature reserves - Coed Pendugwm, Cors Dyfi, Dolforwyn Woods and Dyfnant Meadows. We carry out National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP) surveys on all these sites, contributing to our understanding of the species on a national level.