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Going Underground

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If you've got one of those immaculate, smooth, well watered, bowling green type lawns with the perfectly parallel green stripes along it, then you should probably start panicking now.   This is the time when young moles leave their mothers nest to start looking for new territories of their own.

Initially young moles hunt above ground, but they soon realise that it's safer from predators below ground, and that's when the tunnelling starts!

If there was an Olympic medal for digging then these guys would win hands down.  They can shift about 6kg (13lbs) of soil every twenty minutes.  Pound for pound, that's the equivalent of a human shovelling 4 tons of soil.

Now if you've ever seen the film "The Great Escape" you'll know that tunneling produces heaps of soil, and it all has to go somewhere.  Moles don't have those special trousers with the quick release strings, so they just push the soil up to the surface forming mounds called 'molehills'.  If you're patient, and wait beside one of these mounds, you'll sometimes see a mole as it heaves the soil up.

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