FEARS that the cold, wet weather this year could have affected dormice mating patterns have been allayed in Huntingdonshire after five babies were photographed in Brampton Wood.

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The Wildlife Trust had feared that doormice, which are one of the country’s most endangered mammals, were sleeping through their mating period – a reaction to the poor weather, but the babies were found in nest boxes in the wood.

Henry Stanier, Wildlife Trust ecology groups officer, said: “It was a joy to see the young dormice clambering around in our local woodland, showing how successful our monitoring and management of our local nature reserves can be with the support of volunteers and the business world.”

He added that the survival of the rare animal had been helped by Jones Boatyard, St Ives, which donated wood for the construction and repair of nest boxes and Penlon Ltd, which donated more than £1,200 of monitoring equipment.

Ben Jones, director of Jones Boatyard, said: “Marine ply is an incredibly durable material and it’s a shame to waste, so when Henry suggested turning the offcuts into habitats for dormice we were very happy to help.”

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