Rare mammal thriving in parts of Essex/Suffolk countryside

See ITV Anglia reporter, Kate Prout's report here

Dormouse numbers have dwindled dramatically over the last few decades.

One of our rarest mammals is thriving in some of the most unlikely parts of Essex.

Dormouse numbers have dwindled dramatically in the last century but there are 35 known colonies in Essex and parts of Suffolk. Including one near the Greenstead housing estate in Colchester where they nest in the woody scrubland.

The A12 corridor in Essex & Suffolk is seeing the tiny creatures thrive Credit: ITV News Anglia

Did you know that dormice are so rare you need a license to handle them? Their habitat is being monitored by the Essex Wildlife Trust.

"What we've really got to do is be aware of our open spaces and allow some of them to remain wild. Don't demand that everything has to be mown flat to look like a bowling green. Because these are the areas that are vital for wildlife"

– Darren Tansley, Essex Wildlife Trust