Saturday, 21 April 2012

Geocaching and mole bashing

We've just discovered geocaching: using GPS and a few cryptic clues to uncover treasure boxes hidden all over the place. Surely this is the ultimate walk incentive.

Today we decide to break the kids in gently with a couple of drive-bys. Our day is already pretty random, watching a children's theatre show in a working auction market. The kids love it and the parents are in awe of anyone who can sustain such a camped up performance. At 11.30am. Sober.

The short-cut home takes us over the moor. We park by a cattle grid and hold high the sacred iphone as it counts down the number of metres to our destination. Frantic searching reveals a plastic tube in the hollow of a tree trunk. We open our 'treasure' to reveal a scroll of names, a little plastic jewel and a fridge magnet. We solemnly add our names to the list and try to explain to the kids that it's the adventure and discovery that counts, not the actual treasure at the end.

Back at the farm we discover a different form of treasure hunting. Dozens of dead moles are laid out on wire netting. I inquire what they're going to be used for. Having discovered that people locally still abandon black kittens because they might be associated with witchcraft, I am very open minded.

Turns out the mole catcher has been. He sets traps in the fields then comes back to collect his victims. It's a lucrative business - £5 a mole. In this case, the actual treasure is crucial. The mole catcher must produce the goods as proof... and then leave them with the landowner to ensure he doesn't charge for the same mole twice.

1 comment:

  1. ah- so you saw the moles - not a great start for my day as right next to the gate - however improvement on last year when they were "pegged" out all along the barbed wire fence!! Also just wondering how the "Judas" magpie got out of the trap in the field?? - daily I expect to see one of the cats sitting inside keeping it company - could be tricky!!!