The Hazel Dormouse is also known as the Dormouse or the Common Dormouse and can mainly be found in the south of England in woodlands. It is a secretive mammal that sleeps a lot and it is the only mouse in England with a long furry tail.
The Hazel Dormouse has golden brown fur and relatively large rounded ears. It also has big black beady eyes. Its feet and toes are a pinky colour and it has four long toes on each foot. The Hazel Dormouse spends most of its day sleeping in a nest constructed out of shredded honeysuckle bark, grass and moss. During the night it climbs from branch to branch in mature deciduous trees, like oak trees, looking for food. It eats hazelnuts, acorns and chestnuts and in autumn it tries to eat more food to build up a fat reserve ready for its long winter sleep.
Between October and April Dormice go into a long deep sleep called hibernation. The Hazel Dormouse also goes into a lighter sleep to save energy if the weather is too cold in spring, summer or autumn. This sleep is called ‘torpor’ It is believed that a Hazel Dormouse spends at least three quarters of its life sleeping.