Making nest boxes part 2 – small mammal boxes

Having made 10 nest boxes for small birds, I decided to alter the design slightly to produce boxes suitable for small mammals. If we’re going to encourage barn owls at Allerthorpe Common, it makes sense to encourage their food supply as well! I’ve made four boxes for mice that can be put on the ground, hidden away in the undergrowth. Apparently, this type of box is often taken over by bumblebees when the mice have finished nesting – it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Dormouse and ‘other mouse' boxes

Mouse box in the undergrowth

I’ve also produced one dormouse box. These are very like the small bird boxes, but have the entrance hole at the back and spacers to maintain a gap between the back of the box and the tree it’s attached to. I’ve put this in an area of hazel woodland which is not known to be occupied by dormice, but I don’t think anyone has ever had a serious look for them. I’ve searched the area for nibbled hazel nuts, but so far have only found ones that have been cracked open by squirrels. Dormice chew through a hazel nut in a distinctive way. This woodland is a long way from any known dormouse population, so it’s very unlikely that I’ll find a new one, but worth trying.

Fitted dormouse box

Hazel nut shell, cracked open

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