Jess Smallcombe Dormouse

Jess, an ecologist at Acorn Ecology Exeter Office, now has a Natural England licence to survey for hazel dormice. Jess has been working towards her licence for the last couple of seasons, going out with her trainer each month over the survey season.

As well as training on NDMP (National Dormouse Monitoring Program) nest box searches, Jess went on a training course (here at Acorn Ecology, of course!) and has been actively participating on dormouse surveys at work, under the guidance and instruction of our senior ecologists.

See Acorn Ecology training courses for protected species.

Dormice are a priority species in this country and have suffered a huge decline in the last few decades. It’s thought that up to 70% have been lost since 2003*. Here in Devon, where Jess is based, we are fortunate to have a stronghold for this species.

Jess is now licenced to conduct surveys for dormice on development sites. She will continue monitoring sites with NDMP in her spare time as well, helping to contribute to the data being collected on this species in Devon.

I really enjoyed my training. I have been fortunate to have been helped by a number of very experienced ecologists. Most of my training was done at an NDMP site in woodland very close to my home, so it was great knowing I was contributing to data from my local patch. I also got involved in a couple of research projects and got to radio-track dormice, looking at their activity as well as finding hibernation nests. It’s been a fantastic experience and I look forward to continuing to work with this species.

Jess will continue working towards her bat and great crested newt licences over the summer.

*For more information about dormice, see our blog about our recent attendance at the joint Devon and Cornwall dormouse meeting.

Jess did her training at a NDMP site in her local woodland (the woods have a great blog). To find out if there’s a monitoring site near you, have a look at the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) website.

Read the PTES report on the State of Britain’s Dormice (2016).

Jess Dormouse

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