The Hazel Dormouse, otherwise known as the Dormouse or Common Dormouse, can often be found in the southern parts of England such as Devon, Kent, Somerset and Sussex. It can also be found in the north of England in some parts of the Lake District.
The Hazel Dormouse is ‘aboreal’ which means it spends most of its time climbing around in trees. Hazel Dormice have feet that are able to grasp onto things like hands do. These feet are called ‘prehensile’ feet and they are very useful for the Hazel Dormouse, especially when it wants to jump from branch to branch.
Hazel Dormice also have feet that are very flexible and adaptable to climbing. They can turn their back feet almost at right angles to their bodies. The ability to do this helps them to cling onto branches and twigs quite easily. Hazel Dormice are agile climbers and can run and jump from branch to branch quite easily.
When a Hazel Dormouse moves around trees, it uses its long whiskers to act as sense organs. The whiskers are sensitive to touch which help the Hazel Dormouse to find its way in the dark. The whiskers also stop it from bumping into things on a dark windy night.
Hazel Dormice don’t like to spend much time on the ground because they feel more exposed to danger. They would rather take long detours through tree tops in search of food than walk on the ground.