18th February 2019
Problems with moles and problems with sheep. However these should be behind us now, we’ve caught three moles and the sheep have been moved from the adjacent field. A difficult and tedious job is removing the weeds from the plastic membrane laid over the border, and the stumps, against the east fence which needs replacing, probably with more rabbit-proof wire netting.
This is the interloper that broke into the garden. He worked out that resting his head on the rather dilapidated stock fencing, field side of our north east border, would allow a large enough gap to squeeze through into our garden where the grass was much greener. And of course while we were away. Once I’d put some barbed wire in he started work a bit below, twisting his curly horns around the wire fencing and pulling until something broke. It nearly worked but the sheep farmer arrived and put an old iron gate  against the fencing. This reduced the attempts at entry to random head-butting of the iron gate. Persistent or what? He gave up and found solace in poking his head through the new stock fencing to munch on the grass on the bank. None of the others did anything like this! The sheep were from Dartmoor I discovered so were fairly street- wise on finding food. 60 of them cleared the grass in the five and a half acre field down to the yellow roots in five weeks.
The fence on the east border is rapidly falling apart, any east wind and parts disintegrate. We’ve started to clear the ground adjoining the fence as there are stumps here that need removing before we think of a new fence. 14 stumps in fact, but several of them are very rotten and they aren’t that difficult to rip out. What is more difficult is the awful black plastic weed membrane, now covered with a thick layer of weeds and decayed garden rubbish like leaves. Pulling it up has revealed a network of mole tunnels, quite fascinating but they have become a bit too invasive in the garden and had to be discouraged.