On Saturday 19th November, from 2-4pm, the first ever Great Nut Hunt will take place at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, near Lampeter.
Signs of dormice have recently been found at Denmark Farm and nest boxes have been erected to help conservationists monitor these rare animals. However, dormice also open hazel nuts in a distinctive way and, on 19th November, visitors can look for signs of dormouse activity by examining hazelnuts around the Denmark Farm site.
The dormouse is a small mammal that spends up to three-quarters of its life asleep. Their preferred habitat is deciduous woodland with plenty of scrub, and thick hedgerows – which Denmark Farm has in abundance. Nuts opened by dormice show a neat, smooth, circular cut to the inside of the opening and tiny radiating teeth marks on the outside – signs which are relatively easy to identify.
Jenny Macpherson from The Vincent Wildlife Trust will be leading the activity and there will be an illustrated talk if weather conditions are poor. Everyone is welcome to take part in this free event with refreshments available for a small charge.
Jenny Macpherson, MISE project officer with The Vincent Wildlife Trust, says: “There are very few records of dormice in Ceredigion, so it is important to get more information. Nut hunts are a great (and fun) way of doing that. We hope to see lots of volunteers joining in with this very worthwhile project”
The Great Nut Hunt is part of a programme called Wildlife Where You Live (WWYL) which is managed by Denmark Farm Conservation Centre. WWYL helps people to identify and implement environmental improvements that make a real difference to their community. WWYL is a three year programme funded by The Big Lottery Fund, Environment Wales, Countryside Council for Wales and The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
If you would like more information about Denmark Farm Conservation Centre or the Great Nut Hunt please get in touch: http://www.shared-earth-trust.org.uk/en/contact.htm