We have had a great year for dormouse births this year, three litters between our two pairs see us housing 11 kits which will be released back to the wild next year, along with several others bred at other Centres across the UK.
As with previous years, these new youngsters will hibernate here over the winter before being prepared for release as they emerge from their winter sleep next year.
With hibernation in mind, it is not just our hazel dormice that hibernate. Our edible dormice do too, along with our hedgehogs and bats.
During this time these animals lower their heart rate, breathing rate and body temperature. They sleep for long periods of time, but do still stir occasionally on milder nights.
Although none of our other animals truly hibernate, some do cut down their activity a lot. Badgers being one of the main ones.With this in mind, along with the winter closing time of 4pm, we have to alter our Keeper Talk schedule a bit... and it a return of an old favourite. The polecats.
From this weekend keep in mind we now close at 4pm with last entrance at 3pm, due to the evenings getting darker sooner.
Also, take a quick look at our new Keeper Talk schedule linked above. It is the usual winter schedule, and simply means no more hedghogs, badgers or pine martens. Owls is now at 3pm, and we have added polecats in to the schedule at 1pm.