Have you heard? The 1000th dormouse has now been introduced to the UK in Morecambe Bay.

Have you heard? The 1000th dormouse has now been introduced to the UK in Morecambe Bay.

You might remember the humble dormouse as a sleepy, fairy tale icon which was once widespread throughout the UK. Sadly, their numbers have declined by a staggering 51% since 2000 and until now, our region has had just one lonely colony left at Roudsea.

Morecambe Bay Partnership has been involved in this multi-agency project recruiting and supporting volunteers from the local community to help re-introduce and sustain 30 hazel dormice (15 breeding pairs) into the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The work has been delivered through a project called ‘Back On Our Map’ (BOOM) - a partnership with the University of Cumbria - dedicated to species recovery and involves wider collaboration with the wildlife charity People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), and Natural England.

Michelle Cooper, the Partnership’s Team Leader for Community and Volunteering said ‘We want to say a big thank you to the volunteers for their dedication and commitment. They have sweated and hiked for weeks installing nest boxes, cages and footprint tunnels and are now commencing a regime of feeding our furry friends as they settle in.’

She added ‘Everyone remembers what the lovable little dormouse looked like, either from childhood stories or sightings, so we know there is huge interest in this project. Community involvement is at the heart of all BOOM’s work and it’s so inspiring for people to know they can make a real difference.”

The volunteer monitoring of the dormice begins in 10 days’ time when the cage doors are opened. You can follow the progress of the Bay’s 30 newest residents on the Partnership’s social media channels. 

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You can also follow day-to-day BOOM Project updates: 

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