Any development where there is a reasonable likelihood of dormice being present and affected, either directly or indirectly through development activities, will require a survey by a suitably experienced and licensed ecologist. Dormice are found in a variety of habitats including deciduous woodlands, hedgerows, scrub and sometimes within plantation conifers or rural gardens, often providing connectivity is available within the surrounding landscape.
If dormice are likely to be present, identified through baseline ecology surveys, planning authorities will require a report that includes the following information, in order to assess the impact potential:
- details of habitats where dormice might be present;
- survey method undertaken to investigate potential presence of dormice;
- evidence of dormice presence, usually by nest tube survey and/or nut search; or confidence in assumed absence;
- the predicted impact that the proposal is likely to have on dormice and what can be done by way of mitigation to maintain the favorable conservation status of dormice;
- consideration of whether the impact is necessary and acceptable, including consideration of avoidance measures and alternatives; and
- a recommendation on whether a European Protected Species (EPS) licence will be required.
Dormouse surveys, for suitability, can be completed at any time of the year however to assess presence or absence activity surveys are conducted between April and November.
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