Moling novice

D14

Member
Like many farms our drainage system is the old clay pipe version from the 70's. We can't afford new drains so we are thinking about buying an old single leg mole plough and then moving land going into spring cropping. The problem is depth of the clay drainage system. Obviously we can dig down and find a few pipes in each field to get an idea but obviously they had no gps in the 70's so we are concerned about damaging the system in place. How does everybody else play this?
 

John

Member
Location
Cambridge
Do the drains have gravel over them, have you got maps showing where they are? Maps should show you the depth and which way to mole. They still had levels in the 70s so drains will not go up and down in depth or they wouldn't work. Ferret finders and lots of drain rods are good for finding old drains or dowsing rods if you have the gift
 

D14

Member
Do the drains have gravel over them, have you got maps showing where they are? Maps should show you the depth and which way to mole. They still had levels in the 70s so drains will not go up and down in depth or they wouldn't work. Ferret finders and lots of drain rods are good for finding old drains or dowsing rods if you have the gift

The bits we have repaired over the years have not had any gravel left from what we have seen.
 
If you are careful with a digger fing the first drain by digging a trench then either 20 m or 40 dig to find the next one

Look on google earth at your fields and you may see the drainage lines in the crop showing up

You can sometimes see then in the field in April or even from the combine seat just look for regular lines across the field with the slope into the ditch or if it had a main then to the lowest point
 

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
If you have a slope all the way to a ditch you can pull them out the ditch. I then get the big plastic tube you get inside silage bale wrap and stick it up the mole end in the ditch. Very pleasing to see the water coming out of them and off the field. Also I figure the winter they stop running with water I will pull them out and redo it.

My drainage maps (1970's) all say to mole at 22". They have back fill though.
 

fudge

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire.
Like many farms our drainage system is the old clay pipe version from the 70's. We can't afford new drains so we are thinking about buying an old single leg mole plough and then moving land going into spring cropping. The problem is depth of the clay drainage system. Obviously we can dig down and find a few pipes in each field to get an idea but obviously they had no gps in the 70's so we are concerned about damaging the system in place. How does everybody else play this?
If you are moling through impermeable clay the drains should have a permeable back fill or the operation is pointless. Or am I missing something?
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

  • 14,027
  • 115
Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



You can read more about our Future Farming policy on our blog.



I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...
Top