Monday, August 23, 2010

A $30,000 Bridge for Dormice?

Photo courtesy: allcreatures

The British are in the midst of massive budget cuts; yet a local borough council in neighbouring Wales has approved almost $300,000 to build three walkways that will allow dormice to safely cross a busy highway. These suspension-type bridges will hang over the Church Village Bypass. I think the Mad Hatter would approve.

Bridge for dormice near Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf,Wales. Photo courtesy: theworld

Reactions range from outrage (“It’s obscene”) to joy (“Wonderful to do something for the little critters”).

Officials say that planning permission for the bypass was conditional on the dormouse bridge and other considerations for local wildlife. An enlightened decision on part of council, if you ask me.

Since dormice live in trees; and, not on the ground, their bridge must be suspended between trees. Photo courtesy: theworld

Dormice are not the same as regular mice; but, they are rodents who are remarkable for their extra-long periods of hibernation – up to six months a year. That’s how the most famous of all dormice – the little guy who shows up at the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland– is portrayed as going to sleep all the time. They get their name, dormouse, not because they look like mice, but from the old Anglo-Norman word “dormeus” meaning “sleepy one.”

Dormice live for about five years, are super-cute (just look at that face in the picture), and don’t have nearly as many litters as your regular kind of mouse.

Via allcreatures


Anonymous said...

I wrote this last year after complaining for two year about a hole in the road ouside my garage.
Everything in the poem is written from facts given to my by a local RCT councillor. I live in RCT and have lived her all my life.
I Wish I was a Dormouse
Anna Brown

I wish I was a dormouse and lived in RCT,
Then the European & British Law
Would surely protect me.
They’d build me three mesh bridges
So that I could take a trip
Across Church Village Bypass
To admire Ty Garreg Tip,
The Tip’s been nicely planted,
Three hectares, just of late,
With 60 dormouse boxes
Where my friends can procreate.
Their performance will be monitored
Each year, for the next five,
Then once again, in year seven and ten,
To check that they’re still alive.
One hundred and ninety thousand pounds
Is a high cost, you might agree,
To save the endangered dormice
Who live in RCT.


Because I’m not a dormouse
Not endangered and protected,
No one wants to help me fill
A hole that I detected.
It wouldn’t take much money,
A bucket or two or three
To fill the hole with Tarmac
And that would satisfy me...
But, I’ve been told the hole must stay,
To be filled again another day.
The hole you see, is only depressed
And not labelled Category 1,
It has to wait for more resources
And that’s when the work will be done.
Now, like the hole, I’m depressed too
And there’s nothing much that I can do,
Just wish I was a dormouse
That lives in RCT
Then, they’d have to fill the hole in
Because, “The European Law” would be protecting me.


Anonymous said...

Do you really think the hole outside your house is more important than the survival of a species?