This timber dormouse nesting box has an entrance hole facing the tree trunk, with two bars across the back to keep the box away from the tree and allow easy access.
This nest box is designed to be placed against tree trunks or large branches (entrance hole facing the tree). The two horizontal battens provide a space for Dormice to access the nest box.
The nest box should be placed at least 1.5 metres above ground level. Dormice travel through the understorey of vegetation by making use of stems and branches that connect one tree or shrub to another. For this reason it is best to site your nest box near to one of these “pathways”. If you have a choice of suitable sites try to select one that has some honeysuckle (woodbine) Lonicera periclymenum nearby as Dormice use this climbing plant for access as well as using its peeling bark for nest material.
During heavy rain, water will typically follow a certain path down the tree trunk, and it is vital that you avoid siting the nest box on the course of this flow. If the tree has a pronounced lean it is reasonable to assume that the water will flow down the section of trunk facing the ground, but there is no substitute for looking up the trunk during or shortly after heavy rain, when the safe areas will be obvious.
If the tree is not in a sheltered position, try to find a location that offers shelter from driving wind and rain, and that is not exposed to strong sunlight during the middle of the day. In practice this usually requires the box to face somewhere between north through east to south-east, but don’t forget to avoid the wet portion of the trunk as the key objective is to keep any nest box occupants warm and dry.
Please note: Dormice are endangered and therefore have legal protection. They really need our help but must not be handled unless you have a licence to do so.