Last mole catcher in Calderdale seeks apprentice

Media captionAlbert Morton, mole catcher

An experienced mole catcher is looking for an apprentice willing to take up the traditional trade so he can retire.

Albert Morton, 69, from Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, started his business in 1963 and is thought to be the area’s last mole catcher.

Mr Morton said: “I’d much prefer to get somebody and teach them how to do it, so it carries on.”

He said his traps were the most humane way of disposing of moles and the job would suit someone who liked fresh air.

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Mr Morton works in the areas around Halifax, Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge in Calderdale.

He said mole catching was “just one of those old country crafts and I don’t want it to die out”.

“If there was any suffering or cruelty I wouldn’t do it.”

He has more than 300 customers ranging from farmers to golf course owners.

Image caption

Mr Morton said the job would suit those that like “the fresh air”.

“This year it has gone manic but now I’m getting near to my sell-by-date”, he said

He started to learn the trade in the 1960s when Mr Morton’s father suggested he should help the then mole catcher who was looking to pass his skills on.

Mole hills are caused as the mole, which spends most of its time underground, burrows towards the surface and can cause damage to grassed areas.

They are particularly prevalent in damp conditions as worms come to the surface and are followed by the moles looking to feed on them.

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