Over the last 4 years Durham Wildlife Trust’s Heart of Durham Project, as a result of a generous donation from D’Oyley Carte, has been putting up tubes and specialised boxes at various woodland locations as part of their survey of looking for dormice in County Durham.
Now the Land of Oak and Iron project has also got involved, as the Forestry Commission provided this project with a 100 tubes for volunteers to put up in Strothers Hills Wood.
Volunteers with both projects regularly checking the tubes and boxes have found many variations of small droppings and are puzzled as to which mammal has been using their tubes.
In a copy of the Mammal Summer news 2017, an article caught the eye of Anne Porter Project Officer for the Heart of Durham Project and an idea was conceived.
On Wednesday the 29th of November volunteers met at Chopwell Forest School classroom to round up the year’s survey discoveries and to learn about the benefits of using GPS to locate tubes and boxes, but the main event was the construction of footprint tracking tubes.
A simple and hopefully effective method of identifying the mammals that might be frequenting the boxes and tubes consists of some domestic plastic drain pipe, recycled off cuts of timber and a plastic milk bottle top. Oh and some specialized inked paper!
So watch this space for future updates on how these tubes are working in tracking mammal footprints. Thank you to all the volunteers inolved in this day and the preparation of the materials.