The endearing Mr Mole in ‘Wind in the Willows’ has been such a popular character for around 100 years. Yet moles can cause severe destruction in gardens to simply find their favourite snack of worms.
The attractive black, velvety furred creatures with poor eyesight – there’s no need for good eyesight in the darkness of underground, are solitary animals and extremely territorial.
Little heaps of excavated soil appear on the surface of our South Meadow soil every couple of metres.
Moles seem to particulary like deciduous woodland, grassland and farmland, where the soil is deep enough for tunnelling.
At Uppark we’re able to live in harmony with these rather beautiful (insectivorous – great word!) mammals. The mole mounds can appear in unexpected places and are a tad unsightly, but we use the beautifully sifted excavated soil (which has a very fine texture from all the moles hard digging work) for our benefit.
We find this sifted soil is excellent for making potting compost and we also use it to top-dress and repair our lawns here at Uppark.
Did you know?
The average adult mole weighs 113 grams, is 10cm long and the average population density is 3 – 5 moles per acre (I assumed far more considering the amount of mounds we find!)
Although I am yet to actually see a mole in the flesh – the nearest I’ve got is seeing small movements of earth beneath a mound), I guess that’s part of the appeal of these rather beautiful yet allusive creatures.