Mole - Talpa europaea


European Moles have black, velvety fur and a rounded body. Their front limbs are spade-like with sharp claws and their hind limbs are small and underdeveloped. They have a pink pointed snout, small eyes and a short furry tail. Length: 9-16.5cm. Molehills are more often seen than the creature itself.

Identification difficulty

Moles live throughout mainland Britain wherever soil is deep enough for tunnelling. They inhabit deciduous woodland, grassland and farmland.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

Life span of up to 3 years. They dig actively and can create 20m of tunnel per day. Large chambers are lined with dry grass and are used for nesting during periods of rest. They leave characteristic mounds of earth behind as they excavate their tunnels (molehills). They are solitary, except for during the breeding season, when the males expand their territories. The female produces a litter of up to seven (usually 3-4) young in the summer. The young are weaned after three weeks. It feeds mainly on earthworms but also insects, centipedes and even mice and shrews.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly common in most of Britain but absent from Ireland and some Scottish Islands.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map