In 1983, Pat Morris and Paul Bright identified 20 Key Sites for dormice in southern England, five of these were in Hampshire, only one of which was continually monitored until recently. The Great Nut Hunts in 1993, 2001 and 2009, that were organised by the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species, identified additional sites but very few of these have been checked in the intervening years. Previously, a study of dormouse distribution in Hampshire was published as a report written for the Hampshire Wildlife Trust in 2004 – Ewald (2004) Distribution and status of the dormouse in Hampshire.
Hazel dormice have been recorded across much of Hampshire, but with particular concentrations of records to the east of Andover including along the A303 corridor, to the east and west of Basingstoke, along the M3 corridor north of Winchester, across parts of the South Downs National Park and near Park Gate, Fareham. These records consist of dormouse sightings and other evidence of their presence within habitat, including nests and characteristically chewed hazel nuts. Of course, an absence of dormouse records does not mean that dormice are not present, merely that they haven’t been spotted yet! The Hampshire Dormouse Group is therefore working with other nature conservation groups within Hampshire to increase our knowledge about dormouse presence and distribution across the county, through numerous projects including the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme.