Man wearing camo standing in front of an old stone building

The Mole Catcher

Hermitage Castle
Near Newcastleton
Borders Region

I met Walter Blakey on a chilly March afternoon with snow still lingering in the hills around Hermitage. He’s a mole catcher, sometimes with 60 traps set at the same time, and remembers where each one is. He described to me and demonstrated how his handmade traps work better than commercially produced ones. Walter Blakey, who started his career at age 5, has caught a lot of moles in his lifetime. Now he does it in his spare time, mainly as a public service to local farmers and landowners. He charges no fees for his services. One nearby farm had recently been eradicated of 170 moles in nine days.