|The BT Dormouse Area is situated on a south facing hillside on the edge
of an oak woodland and near the Larch Plantation.
With funding from BT and English Nature the area was cleared of rhododendron and
replanted with hazel.
It is being managed as a habitat suitable for Dormice,
which are known to be present on the reserve. Formerly covered in Rhododendron, the area was cleared and planted out with young
Hazel trees in March 1992. The trees were protected from animal damage by tree
guards. Bracken quickly grew over the newly cleared area and had to be controlled by
a one-off application of the herbicide Azulox. As part of the management of hazel
for dormice, the trees are allowed to grow for about 15 years before some of them will be
This involves cutting down some of the trees near the base, which allows the others to
spread outwards. Over a period of time, this creates interlocking horizontal
branches, an ideal habitat for dormice to move around in. The Dormice area
will not all be coppiced in the same year. Over a period of time, coppicing of
different areas will create a patchwork of hazel trees at different heights, creating a
rich and varied habitat.