Dormice and planning

Dormice are recognisable for their bright golden colour and thick furry tails. They are nocturnal and are commonly found in woodland and hedgerows, favouring coppiced woodland with hazel. These habitats provide a varied diet throughout the year and allow the dormice to move through the trees as they seem to avoid travelling over open ground.

Dormouse populations are rare in Pembrokeshire and are threatened by the loss and fragmentation of habitat and poor woodland management. As such they are afforded protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

Planning applications and surveys

When considering a planning application the presence of a dormouse as a Protected Species (PS) is a material consideration if the proposal is likely to result in disturbance or harm to the species. The Local Planning Authority will consider the potential impact of the development upon the species based on information provided by the applicant to support their application.

If there is evidence of dormice on or adjacent to the development site a dormouse survey will be required to accompany any submitted planning application. The survey can confirm if dormice are present and recommend mitigation to protect the dormice and reduce or remove the impact of development. This report along with plans showing the mitigation should be provided with the planning application at the time of submission.

A hazel or common dormouse on a branch


If you are undertaking development or an activity that will affect dormice or any other European Protected Species then it is likely you will require a licence from Natural Resources Wales (NRW). If the development requires planning permission this must be granted prior to obtaining a licence.

Once approved it is the applicant’s responsibility to apply for a licence and further information can be found by searching ‘European Protected Species Licence’ on the Natural Resources Wales website.

Contact our Ecologist

Any queries relating to protected species and sites should be directed to our Planning Ecologist via 01646 624800 or