Living with Dormice

The Common Dormouse: Real Rodent or Phantom of the Ancient Wood?

Sue Eden

A new look at the life and habits of one of our best-loved animals.

240 x 215 mm

128 pages




Subject: Nature

The dormouse is one of the least seen but most loved of British animals. Much has been written about dormice in the past few years, but they have always been portrayed as rare animals with specialised food requirements found only in large ancient woodlands. Sue Eden was therefore surprised to find them nesting in the coastal scrub of her new garden. Her many years of ensuing research have led her to the conclusion that the dormouse is in reality a widespread, tough, opportunistic omnivore that appears just as at home in low coastal scrub and conifer plantations. Dormice are difficult animals to study because they are so elusive. Dr Eden’s research, harking back to natural history observation as it was in Victorian times, has led her to the conclusion that dormice are not specialist animals restricted to specific habitats; they do not have exacting habitat requirements; are exceptionally versatile and resourceful; and are widespread in England in all arboreal habitats. This fascinating new research, and the photographs that accompany it will be an inspiration in search for this appealing creature.

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Sue Eden

Sue Eden studied botany and then gained a PhD in plant taxonomy. She joined the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, where she studied marine algae and uncovered their role in mud accretion on salt marshes. After marriage to a veterinary surgeon she was side-tracked by finding dormice in their Dorset garden. She wanted to know what supposedly rare animals were doing far from any habitat that the literature said they required.

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"If you only ever buy one book about doormice, make it this one"