Men on trial accused of disturbing dormouse habitat
Date of alert:
Tuesday, 7 June 2022
Two men allegedly disturbed and destroyed a hazel dormouse habitat in Suffolk after undertaking site clearance work not covered by a licence, a court heard.
Alan Keeble, 73, and Craig Lister, 50, have gone on trial accused of two offences relating to the rare protected species in Kersey, near Hadleigh, in January 2021.
Hazel dormice, their breeding sites and resting places are protected by law, and anyone found guilty of offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can face an unlimited fine or up to six months in prison.
In January 2021, Keeble was in the process of selling his property, in Wicker Street Green, Kersey, to Lister, and planning permission had been sought, Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard on Tuesday.
An ecological survey was required and confirmed the presence of hazel dormice after it was carried out, the court heard.