Stephen O’Brien MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development, visited a Cheshire farm to see shooting and conservation in action and helped the threatened dormouse.
He saw work being undertaken at a farm in Malpas by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), to safeguard the future of dormice in the county.
The work is being carried out as part of BASC’s Green Shoots project in Cheshire in partnership with local farmers and the people who shoot on their land.
Dormice have disappeared from most of the north of England and are extremely rare in Cheshire.
BASC’s Green Shoots conservation project has undertaken work to help dormice in Cheshire for 10 years.
Mr O’Brien, who is MP for Eddisbury, put up a dormouse nesting box.
He said: "The Southwest Cheshire Dormouse Project is a brilliant initiative which combines the best stewardship of our precious biodiversity with practical agricultural best practice in the context of a thriving, growing farm business."
The Southwest Cheshire Dormouse Project, which is funded by the SITA Trust, aims to create a connected network of hedgerows and woodlands so an existing dormouse population can expand from the Wych Valley towards the Broxton Hills, part of the Sandstone ridge.
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said: "Wildlife of all types need to be able to move across our landscape. We are delighted with the enthusiastic way landowners and shoots have agreed to take part in this project. Habitat management for game shooting and for dormice compliment one another and so the role of shooting in providing the right management of this species is very important."
To watch a film about helping the dormouse, visit the BASCfilms YouTube channel.
For more information about BASC’s Green Shoots project, visit www.basc.org.uk
Notes to editors:
Photographs are available to download from http://basc.thirdlight.com/libraryhome.tlx
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