Helping Hazel Dormice With Bridges Through The Trees

Mini rope bridges are being installed for hazel dormice in England’s Forest of Dean to help them travel safely after tree felling required due to Chalara ash dieback fragmented their habitat. The 20m-long ladders allow dormice to move between treetops without coming to the ground, where they feel vulnerable to predators.

Dormice populations have nearly halved in the last three decades due to the loss of quality woodland and traditional management practices like coppicing.

The bridges have been placed in woodlands near Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire, and trail cameras will monitor their use.

The project, supported by volunteers and overseen by Forestry England, aims to complement ongoing efforts to protect the endangered species. This innovative approach is a first for the Forest of Dean, and there is excitement about its potential impact.

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