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Special bridges built over M1 motorway to help Dormice cross safely

Two special bridges have been built across the M1 to allow dormice to cross.

A colony of the protected mammals has set up home next to the motorway.

And their numbers are growing.

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Now, to help them cross one of Britain’s busiest roads two “bridges” have been constructed.

They run alongside an existing crossing at Little Linford Wood in Buckinghamshire.

Dormice numbers have halved over the last twenty years.

Conservationists fear the little creature would become extinct.

They usually use hedgerows to travel through the countryside.

But the continued destruction of hedges has made dormice vulnerable – not only to predators but traffic.

More than 40 dormice were introduced to the area in 1998.

They have steadily increased in numbers.

A colony was recently found near the M1 during road works.

It was decided to build the little bridges to help them when they stir from hibernation in a few weeks.

Picture: Highways England

Paul Unwin, from Highways England, said:

“People might not give much thought to the wildlife that makes its home in roadside verges while on their journeys, but often they can be an oasis for wildlife.

“It’s vitally important that we protect the surrounding countryside and wildlife that makes its home there when we build these transformative schemes – not only for this generation but for the many generations to come to enjoy.”

Highways England has installed 300 dormouse boxes along the M1 between junctions 13 and 16.

The bridges will be monitored by cameras.

 

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