Roman delicacy

The edible dormouse, or fat dormouse if you prefer, weren't actually introduced by the Romans as is commonly thought. Eccentric Victorian collector, Lord Rothschild introduced a few of them to Tring park in Oxfordshire in 1902. A small contingent survives to this day, but they have never strayed beyond the Chilterns. They sleep for up to nine months of the year. The edible dormouse has what you might call a damaging diet, they nibble and gnaw on just about anything - especially wood, plaster and chipboard, not to mention wiring. It's no surprise, therefore, that some people consider them to be pests. In the 1930s, as a result of all the scratching and gnawing in the middle of the night, there were many reports of haunted houses.

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2 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterBill Oddie
ProducerMark Jones
Executive ProducerTim Scoones

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