Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Wednesday 1 April 2009


So, as I said here , my friend A came round to visit us last week and get some compost leaflets and things. In that post I mentioned the Mole incident and promised to elaborate in a later post, so here it is....

While we were all drinking coffee, Compostman gave a shout from the sitting room, and when we rushed in, we found that the cats had brought in a live mole!

The poor mole was trying to dig its way out down through the carpet, so Compostman "fenced" it off from the agitated cats by putting books and DVDs around it, and stood guard over it, while I ran to get some leather gloves (moles can bite quite hard!)

Having put on a pair of gloves, he picked it up and we went outside with it and put it down on the grass. But the ground seemed too hard for the mole to dig down through, or maybe it was a bit shocked? anyway I picked it up,

it seemed undamaged, but a little shocked by all the goings on,

so soft and so clean as well!

I put it down on the soil in a flower bed.

and it rapidly tunnelled down into the soil..

It seemed undamaged, and rapidly disappeared.

The cats were MOST annoyed at losing their mole! They found out where it had been placed and hung around the mole hole all afternoon....and were very cross with us for the rest of the day.

We lay on varied entertainment for visitors to Compost Mansions :-)


  1. Oh my goodness! What a cuddlesome mole! An exotic creature to an Antipodean.

    Poor wee thing. I didn't know that cats bothered moles, but of course they would. They are quite small (if well-clawed). They're protected animals in England aren't they?

  2. WOW! They are adorable. And so rare to get to see one up close never mind have a cuddle! What a joy. Xx

  3. They are very sweet!

    Sadly Docwitch, not protected here in the UK...people can ( and do) kill them for the "crime" of making molehills on lawns....

    yes they do a certain amount of damage, but so do humans....

    we operate a "live and let live" policy here, indeed we actively want wildlife and run the place as a private nature reserve

    The only things that get killed are rats and grey squirrels and even then only if they eat our food stores!

    Moley WAS beautiful, and let me stroke his/her tum....


    Sadly the cats have killed 2, so far :-(

  4. They are lovely creatures, and it's hard to imagine Kenneth Grahame's Mole having a bad bite!

  5. Some years ago, in another house, in another state, my dogs uprooted and killed a mole, leaving it for me on the front step of the house. I hated that they killed it- but I had never seen one up close before, and like you was amazed at how beautiful it was.

    Do you read Brian Jacques? The moles at Redwall speak in what I think is a Yorkshire accent. I just discovered his books are available in audio, read by the author, and I can't wait to hear molespeak!

  6. That was a beautiful mole. One fell into our window well once so we rescued it & set it free. their fur is so soft.

  7. Moles have toxic saliva and use it to paralize earthworms, so the worms will keep frash in Moleys larder.....

    This is not the first time I have handled a mole, I love them very much!

    and if you rub them on the tum, they relax and let their paws flop out and just lie back and chill....

  8. Wow - quite rare to see a photo of a mole. I too had no idea that cats went after moles.

    My dad was one sitting on his patio, minding his own business with a cup of coffee mid morning, when he heard a small noise and looked down to see a young mole running across the patio, bumping into the furniture!

  9. Maybe it was one of William Horwood's Duncton moles? :)

    A great fantasy book series.


  10. Wow! I've never seen a mole in real life. How do the cats manage to catch them?

  11. oh my life what wonderful pictures! how lucky to see & hold such a wee thing :o)
    & thanks to other commenters for reminding me of the Duncton Wood books & Brian Jacques!
    GTM x

  12. Yes they are lovely aren't they!

    I have read both authors and the books are very well observed

    I was SO pleased to be able to get some photos of the lovley Moley! it IS a bit special to have held one, I agree....

    But then, we do get all sorts of wonderful stuff here, as you know...we are very fortunate to live where we do and experience so much wonderful wildlife...tonight I watched 3 badgers play in the headlights of my car, and I have just investigated some huge badger setts which have been freshly dug !

    I ahall be badger watching, sownwind, at dusk over the next few days I think...and when I have established their patterns I shal be taking Compostgirl along to enjoy the experience....

  13. How did I miss this post! What an awesome story and if you didn't have photos I would have never believed it. lol.

  14. And despite the date, it really wasn't an April Fool!

    It actually happened on the 24th March lol!


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.