Cotehele Ranger James Robbins discovered a dormouse in ‘a torpid state’ in a nest box on the National Trust estate nr Saltash in Cornwall,
during his autumn dormouse-check recently.
‘Dormice are fattening up for winter now,’ says James. ‘They gorge like mad on berries and nuts, especially hazel nuts, which they open in a characteristic fashion, then they sleep, then eat some more until finally they crawl under leaf litter at the base of trees for the winter hibernation. They’ll become active again in spring.’
The Wildlife Trust classifies dormice as a priority species in the UK.