Ten tiny hazel dormice have been given the all-clear by wildlife vets ahead of their release into the wild next month.

Each 20g dormouse had a 10-minute check-up with wildlife vets from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology in central London.

Their heart and lungs were checked with a stethoscope, and their eyes, ears, nose, teeth and fur examined.

They will be released to a secret woodland location as part of an annual reintroduction programme, led by People’s Trust for Endangered Species.

Hazel dormice populations have decreased by 70% nationally since 2000, figures show.

However ongoing efforts to restore their populations have seen more than 1,000 dormice reintroduced into 25 woodland habitats in 13 English counties since 1993.