Photos and Feature by Stella of Heacham-On-Line
On Sunday, 12 March 2006,
Molecatcher, Jeff Nicholls &
his sidekick Joe
at the request of
Canon Patrick Foreman to resolve an increasing mole damage problem
in the churchyard of
St Mary the Virgin.
The intrepid duo wasted no time in getting started.
Jeff decided early on that the moles did not live in the churchyard
but were in fact merely visiting for food and he was soon proved right.
This very interesting man explained how mole activity was based upon feeding.
If the mole did not eat almost its body weight everyday then it would not survive.
The food of choice - worms.
In dry or frosty weather the worms dig down to get below the cold
or into the moist soil and then travel upwards in wet weather
as the worms go up nearer the surface in search of oxygen in the soil.
The long and short of it - the moles went where the worms were to be found.
|A number of locals,
despite the bitter cold,
gathered and observed
over the period.
Some hoped to
"Molecatcher of Heacham"
following Jeff's tuition.
many that showed
real interest only
threw their hat into the
ring to play the role of
"Molecatcher of Heacham".
Above - Jeff explains to his audience how the moles gain entry to the churchyard
via a tunnel network alongside the churchyard's perimeter walls.
Jeff stresses that
|Above - The trap||Above - Training to set the trap|
Pictured on the left
one of Heacham's
sets his first trap.
observes and learns from
|Choosing a trap site||Gotcha!||Placing a trap|
The three day visit saw 9 moles caught. Jeff
had predicted 7 moles from the outset.
By the end of the second day 7 moles had indeed been caught with a further
2 moles adding to the number on the final day
(but there had been no new digging overnight - a breakthrough).
It is comforting to know that Les Cotton was very keen to put his newly acquired skills
into practice and he duly applied them to his own garden at home.
He came - he saw - he conquered! Yes he caught one so he is now qualified.
Unfortunately, I did not catch up with him to get a photo to include with the feature.
As Jeff has advised, new moles will come so there will be plenty of opportunity
for Mike Cooper to join the ranks of qualified Molecatchers in the near future.
If you missed meeting Jeff you may like to obtain a copy of his book and DVD.
Book Title: "Molecatcher - A Guide to Traditional Molecatching Methods" by Jeff Nicholls
(Troubador Publishing Ltd ISBN 1 904744 59 1)
DVD Title: "Molecatcher - A Basic Guide to Catching Moles"
Jeff can also be contacted via his website: www.molecatcher.co.uk