This beginner-intermediate course will focus on the ecology of the hazel dormouse, catered towards anyone with a professional or strong amateur interest in the species. 

The course will spend most of the days in the field and will cover hazel dormouse ecology, survey techniques and habitat management requirements. 

This course will include:

  • The ecology of dormice and reasons for their scarcity
  • A variety of survey techniques including recognising nibbled hazelnuts and dormouse nests, deploying footprint tunnels and nest tubes
  • The value of long term monitoring of dormouse populations using nest boxes
  • Habitat management and conservation strategies for dormice

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The hazel or common dormouse has undergone a significant decline during the last century and are now described as vulnerable to extinction in Britain’s Red List.  Their conservation depends on accurate data from surveys and sympathetic habitat management. They are fully protected under UK and European Law.

Despite a range of available techniques, hazel dormice are highly elusive and can be difficult to detect.  How and where to survey for dormice and the methods used are critical factors when attempting to find them.

You will be introduced to the complex ecology of dormice and will explore ways to conserve them. The course will also provide an opportunity to experience dormouse surveying in the field and how to maximise opportunities for detecting them.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Have an understanding of dormouse ecology
  • Be able to identify a range of dormouse field signs
  • Understand how and where to place survey equipment in the field to optimise the chances of detecting dormice using various techniques
  • Gain an understanding of habitat management in the presence of dormice
  • Understand the legislation protecting dormice

Who should attend? – This course is suitable for anyone who has a strong interest in this species, but the course is particularly relevant for professional ecologists and land managers.

Knowledge level –  Beginner-Intermediate. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior knowledge – No existing knowledge or experience is needed for this course, just a willingness to explore and learn.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation, refreshments, or meal facilities provided with this course. If we are unable to reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 4-5 weeks prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

About the Tutor

This course is delivered by more than one expert tutor. Your tutor will depend on the location of the course you book.

Simone Bullion

Simone Bullion has over 20 years of studying and working with hazel dormice and is the lead author for the next edition of the Dormouse Conservation Handbook. She particularly enjoys sharing her knowledge with others.

Alison Looser

Alison Looser is an experienced Ecologist, who also works for Suffolk Wildlife Trust. She has been undertaking dormouse surveys for the last eight years and is an experienced licensed dormouse surveyor and handler.

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect.

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00
  • The course will end at 17:00


  • Introduction to dormouse surveying
  • Check nest tubes at the venue and field visit to local site to discuss management
  • Lunch in field (not provided)


  • Dormouse ecology and why they are rare
  • Early lunch (not provided)
  • Check footprint tunnels at venue
  • Final round up - Q&A and next steps

Please note - you will need to be able to walk a reasonable distance (up to 3 miles) during the field work.

Accommodation, refreshments and an evening meal are not included. 

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you build your knowledge and apply it within the field surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The course includes:

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Natural History Bursaries

There are a number of natural history bursaries available to help with the cost of your course. To find out if you and your chosen course are eligible, read more here.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments (lunch may be taken out in the field)
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Small bag to carry personal items

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical or access requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Opportunities to attend this course

This course is not currently available to book. Dates will follow soon.

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Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, delivered by expert tutors with an approachable learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

If you have any questions about our courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions or email [email protected].

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses. Find out more!

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.