THE county’s wildlife and conservation experts have expressed fears over the plight of the endangered dormouse, which is suffering from a loss of habitat.
Bosses at the Woodland Trust say the mammal is at risk of disappearing from the British Countryside as swathes of ancient woodland habitat fall victim to disease and development.
The common dormouse’s range has decreased in the UK by half over the last century and the Woodland Trust is aware of the loss or damage of at least eight ancient woods in Derbyshire in the last 10 years.
These losses have been destroying and damaging potential dormice homes and loopholes in planning policy is putting further potential habitats under threat.
John Tucker, director of woodland creation at the Trust, said: “If the loss of the trees themselves due to disease wasn’t devastating enough, it’s a very sad fact to know that it is now adding to the pressure dormice face in their search for rich, well managed native woodland.
“The only way to ensure the survival of this much loved species is to create stronger, more resilient landscapes by planting more native trees and diverse woods, bringing back hedgerows to create wildlife corridors connecting woods in the landscape, and better woodland and hedgerow management.
“The Woodland Trust is here to help anybody who would like to help.”
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