The annual competition has opened to find the most dormouse-friendly farmer in England and Wales. Last year, more than 17 miles of hedgerows and nearly 1,000 acres of woodland were planted by entrants in Reconnecting the Countryside, which has a first prize of £1,000.

Run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, it aims to reverse the decline of hedgerows and habitat since the Second World War, specifically to benefit the hazel dormouse, but also for other small mammals, bats, birds, and insects.

Entrants are required to create the largest possible continuous cover of dormouse friendly habitat through planting, coppicing or filling in gaps in existing hedges and woodlands. For an entry pack, telephone 020-7498 4533 or visit www.ptes.org

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