14th June 2014 – The Boxes on the Hill
On Saturday 14th June, a gloriously sunny but thankfully pleasantly breezy day, Jan, Catherine and Karin were hard at work putting up thirty dormouse boxes in hazel coppice on a site near Shaftesbury. These boxes, which are part of a Higher Level Stewardship scheme, were supplied by a local farmer who is keen to identify the presence of dormice on her land. Although not yet part of the PTES scheme, the plan is to check these boxes in line with PTES scheme guidelines.
The site is quite steep and along the top of the ridge but luckily the dormouse group was able to arrange access to a PPATV (person pushed all-terrain vehicle, AKA a baby buggy!) to aid transporting the boxes up the slope. This did cause some comment from a local farmer (he wondered why we were pushing a baby up the slope!) but the good news is that as a result he offered access to the dormouse group across his field which will make getting to the site a lot easier in future.
The plan is to put another twenty boxes up when the site is next checked at the end of July and offers of help with this will be gratefully accepted. If any DMG member would like to volunteer to help put up the boxes and/or help monitor the boxes for signs of dormice in the future please contact Jan Freeborn on firstname.lastname@example.org