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Amersham
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The Glis Glis Around Amersham

The area around Amersham is associated with the Glis Glis otherwise known as Myoxus Glis or the fat or edible dormouse.

The Glis Glis is one of Britain's rarest introduced mammals living in the wild and resembles a small grey squirrel. It has established itself in the Chilterns and nowhere else in the country, although they are gradually spreading further.

Glis Glis
The Glis Glis
Picture Courtesy www.the-piedpiper.co.uk

Their nickname is the Seven Sleepers as they hibernate for seven months of the year. Walter Rothschild, who later became the second Baron Rothschild, brought the first six Glis Glis to England in 1902. No-one knows exactly how, but they escaped into the wild from the Rothschild home at Tring Park and have spread and bred! However, instead of happily hibernating out of doors they moved inside for the English winter! Soon, local farmers were complaining of apple stores being ruined and local people were hearing unexplained bumps in the night ... a sure sign that the Glis Glis were making themselves quite at home in the attic. One woman was convinced she was going mad!

The Glis Glis have not yet traveled very far from Tring and today the main population of them in Britain is confined to a 200 square mile triangle bounded by Beaconsfield, Aylesbury and Luton. However, there are reports that they have now spread to Rickmansworth and Northwood (perhaps catching a lift on the Metropolitan Line!) and other areas.  Despite their loveable antics (they love to run up glass windows and slide down) and cute looks they also cause a considerable amount of damage. They attack wood in buildings, eat through wires and cables and can contaminate water supplies (they can drown in water tanks). The Glis Glis is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Their cry is unique and can only be described as, woofle, woofle, woofle! They can also make a noise which sounds like a lawn mower.


The Glis Glis
The Glis Glis
Drawing courtesy of the Amersham Museum


If you believe you have a Glis Glis in your house, contact the Environmental Health Department at Chiltern District Council or your local council for assistance.


More information can be found at The Natural England  web site

More details about the Glis Glis can be found at www.the-piedpiper.co.uk

Any additions, corrections, alterations, please email the web master


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