Last modified: 11 October 2013
Image: Eleanor Bentall
Groups of children have been picking and planting hundreds of nuts at RSPB Ynys-hir nature reserve in a new project aimed to give a home and food to the friendly dormouse.
The humble dormouse is a big fan of nuts and is at home amongst hazel hedgerows and woodland.
Dormice don’t like walking on the ground and move about in the canopy of trees and bushes, they depend on trees to link one area to another so that they can move from place to place in search of food.
A new project set up this Autumn between RSPB Cymru and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust has seen schoolchildren, Scouts and Brownies as well as the public hard at work helping this shy creature.
Beverly Dimmock, Community Links Officer at RSPB Ynys-hir said: “Everyone has been busy gathering nuts from around the reserve, and then potting them up to be grown into thousands of miniature hazel trees. When they’re big enough they will then be planted out at Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trusts Cors Dyfi reserve.”
Learning Officer Jessica Richardson of Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust adds: “There are lots of hazel trees at RSPB Ynys-hir already, but the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust need more on the Cors Dyfi reserve to extend the dormouse habitat. Instead of buying hazel trees grown elsewhere, we got together with the RSPB and involved the local community in the picking and planting. That way children and the public can learn about wildlife and why trees are important to people while also providing new habitat for the cute dormouse..”
However, the public’s involvement doesn’t finish when the nuts have been picked and planted. The public are asked to come back to the reserve to tend to their very own personal tree, keep a record of its growth and join in community tree planting days while also learning about the wildlife on the reserve.
At the end of the two-year project, the trees will be planted in and around Cors Dyfi, Ynys-hir and other sites in the area; thus providing new homes and ample grub for the dormice to feast on for years to come.
To get involved or learn about planting all sorts of trees visit www.treegrowing.tcv.org.uk/grow or contact RSPB Ynys-hir on 01654 700222 or e-mail: Beverly.firstname.lastname@example.org
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