This mouse-like creature is a dormouse (“hazelmuis” in Dutch), a strictly protected animal. Its population in the Netherlands numbers only around 150.
This picture was taken at our golf course by one of our greenkeepers in the spring of 2021. There is no proof of a causal relationship, but since 2019 we have mounted some 15 special nest boxes for dormice in that same area of our course, so this may be an example that our biodiversity efforts are paying off. Anyway, we’re proud to be housing this lovely and very rare animal.
Other, bigger mammals can also be spotted at our course, like hare, roe deer, foxes and badgers. Our efforts to maintain and improve biodiversity at our golf course includes erecting other nesting boxes (around 70 for various species of birds), and the ones for starlings are a win-win, because they make very tidy greenkeepers! Another focus area is environmentally-friendly maintenance of the fairways, pruning of the hedges only outside the breeding season, and regular stock-taking surveys of birds, plants, mushrooms and amphibians.