More evidence of dormice

Some more evidence of dormice around the cottage and lodges! On tidying up the garden in Otter Cottage we found a dormouse hibernation nest nestled in long grass. What to do…leave it? But would the next dog visitor find it before the occupant had a chance to wake up? With more dogs due at the weekend, and the nest partially revealed, we decided to relocate it over the fence to less disturbed undergrowth. But when we lifted out it was clearly empty.
Dormouse hibernation nest, Wheatland Farm eco lodges
We’re feeling partly relieved of the responsibility and partly worried – if it was this winter’s nest it is way too early for a dormouse to be out and about. But maybe it was from a previous winter? Hmmm. Time to schedule more frequent gardening…

And across the lodge field we’ve found other traces of dormice. A recent guest staying in Beech Lodge found this nibbled nut in the car park. She had had professional training on distinguishing nut nibbles by dormice from other mice and she was confident… though even a trained eye can get it wrong sometimes.
Nibbled nut, Wheatland Farm eco lodges
So overall, it’s encouraging news. Dormice should stay in hibernation for another month or so, but with spring on the way hopefully there will soon be abundant food when they do emerge. Apparently they are partial to a bit of blossom after waking up.