Advice, licensing and legislation relating to the edible dormouse.
The edible or fat dormouse (Glis glis), was introduced to this country from continental Europe in 1902 to a wildlife collection at Tring, Hertfordshire. Escapes led to the establishment of a population in the wild. Currently they are mainly confined to the Chilterns within 25 miles from Tring but are slowly expanding in range. The population is estimated as 10-50,000 animals.
They can cause serious damage, particularly to growing timber by stripping the bark from trees and to property by gnawing electric cable in roof spaces etc.
The edible dormouse is protected under Section 11(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) in that certain methods of killing or taking are prohibited except under licence. Occupiers of land may however, kill or take edible dormice by any non-prohibited method, such as shooting, without needing a licence. In addition, cage traps or approved spring traps, which would otherwise be prohibited, may be used to kill or take edible dormouse under Class Licence WML-CL02: (164kb) where the activities are carried out for the purpose of preserving public health and public safety or for the purpose of preventing serious damage to crops, fruit, foodstuffs for livestock and growing timber. Users must comply with the terms and conditions of any licence.
If an edible dormouse problem cannot be resolved without resorting to a prohibited method or by trapping under the general licence, a specific licence may be issued to permit use of such a method.
Please note that it is an offence under Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to release or allow the escape of edible dormice into the wild without a licence.
There are currently no Natural England leaflets for this species, but you may find the information on the Forestry Commission website useful.
Edible dormouse research (Forestry Commission)
Specific licensing guidance is included below in 'Licences and how to apply' next to the relevant application form
See our licences page for summary information on: Who needs a licence, what types there are and how long they take to obtain. Licences and advice are provided free of charge (some exceptions).
For individual licences please complete the relevant form below and return to Customer Services Wildlife Licensing.
|Description||Who can use this?||How to register|
|WML-CL02: (117kb) for the purpose of preserving public health and public safety or for the purpose of preventing serious damage to crops, fruit, foodstuffs for livestock and growing timber.||Any person who has registered may use this licence||To use this licence, you need to notify Customer Services Wildlife Licensing Service in writing.|
|WML-A05: (155kb) to use prohibited methods that relate to damage or public health and safety.||Please ensure Class Licence WML-CL02 (above) is not applicable before applying for an individual licence.||Form provided with licence|
|WML-A30: (173kb) in relation to science, education or conservation.||Guidance on references for applicants: (47kb)||Form provided with licence|
|WML-A03: (210kb) release of non-native species and those listed under Schedule 9.||Form provided with licence|
Please see our main enforcement and inspection page for more information.
Please contact Customer Services Wildlife Licensing for further information and guidance.