Welcome to the South East region’s Green Shoots webpages. BASC has long standing Green Shoots programmes running throughout its regions and countries involving members and conservation partners. The concept is to collect wildlife information from members and then use this to inform conservation knowledge and develop collaborative conservation projects that meet conservation targets and improve members’ enjoyment of shooting. Have you got a conservation project you want support with?
Our current project work in the South East is centred on the dormouse. BASC is looking to engage with members, shoot owners, the general public and volunteers and enlist their help to find the characteristically gnawed hazel nuts that dormice drop in the autumn. This is an activity that can engage the whole family No previous experience is necessary and children are very good at finding hazel nuts on the ground.
Management for dormice is complementary to game and rough shooting. A well-managed woodland with good levels of light penetrating the canopy to promote a scrub and bramble understorey is ideal for both pheasants and dormice. In addition rides and glades cut through woodland also benefit game management and dormice.
Where hazel is present, nut hunts can determine dormouse presence. This method involves searching five 10m x 10m squares for twenty minutes for gnawed hazelnuts or alternatively collecting 100 nuts that have been opened by small rodents. Unlike other small mammals, dormice do not leave any transverse tooth marks across the rim of the nut shell, therefore dormouse opened nuts are easily recognisable.
BASC South East would like to establish a system where we have volunteers adopting areas to survey, completing these in October and reporting their findings to BASC, who will share the information with PTES to inform their dormice network knowledge. This is vital as it will ensure the continued legacy of the project, providing a community who will report back their findings in the long term. Please contact us to get involved and receive your Nut Hunt Survey Guide.
BASC would really appreciate your help to enable us to do even more. You can make a substantial contribution by using Green Shoots Mapping and logging your shooting land and the species and habitats that use it. If you would like to get involved in the South East please use the Contact tab to get in touch and find out more or click here for the Green Shoots Mapping online tool.
How to recognise one of the field signs left by dormice
In a past Green Shoots project, shoots in Cheshire were involved in a dormouse conservation project for which BASC gained funding from the SITA Trust. Here Sue Tatman from the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, a partner in the project, explains how to recognise one of the field signs left by dormice – a nibbled hazelnut.
Helping the Dormouse
BASC’s Green Shoots programme helps to link management of land for shooting with wider conservation projects. In Cheshire, Green Shoots worked with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust to improve and monitor habitats for the threatened dormouse.