18 JANUARY 1957, Page 30

MISSING MOLES A friend who fauns told me the other

day about a field which used to shelter a large number of moles but is now clear of the pests. A mole-catcher was to have been employed after a season when the binder repeatedly bogged down in parts that the moles had undermined, but the following season the crop was lost by flood and the moles were still in residence when the land became fallow. Now for some reason they have disappeared, What attacks moles? I suppose a fox might eat one if pushed for food but, like the shrew, the mole is not a tasty bite. I don't recall having seen a cat eating one, and the only time I saw one delivered up to a pair of ferrets they refused to dine upon it, although they were hungry. Owls may take an odd mole or two, but I think the explanation for the disappearance of an entire colony must be disease.