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If woodland or hedgerows are present on site, or adjacent to the site and they contain hazel, carrying out a search for hazel nuts eaten by Hazel Dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius) can provide an indication of presence of the hazel dormouse. However, a Hazel Dormouse Nut Search alone can not be used to determine absence of the hazel dormouse.
Hazel Dormouse Nut Search
Hazel Dormouse Nest Tube Surveys
A Hazel Dormouse Nest Tube Survey is a technique for determining presence/absence of the fully protected hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius). The survey will be conducted by an ecologist with a Hazel Dormouse Class Licence, using specially designed nest tubes, which are deployed in suitable habitat and checked throughout the year.
Hazel Dormouse Nest Tube Surveys are usually recommended following a PEA, if development works are likely to result in the disturbance or removal of potential hazel dormouse habitat.
The Hazel Dormouse Nest Tube Survey season is from April to November. Deploying the nest tubes in March is recommended, so that the nest tubes can be checked monthly throughout the season. Nest tubes are most frequently occupied by hazel dormice in May, August and September.
If hazel dormice are present on site, an EPSL may be required.
Hazel Dormouse EPSL
A European Protected Species Licence (EPSL) is obtained from Natural England to lawfully disturb hazel dormice and their habitats. EPSLs must be informed by Hazel Dormice Nest Tube Surveys. Full planning consent is required before a Hazel Dormouse EPSL can be applied for.
An EPSL application will need to be approved by Natural England, which can take up to 30 working days upon submission.