They’re often dismissed as an unwelcome garden guest, but moles have become a source of wonder for Jess Perry.

Ms Perry, 60 and from Blickling, has just published a book about the secret life of moles called Gone To Ground.

She said the illustrations took her more than 18 months of “nightly concentration", a ritual she began during the coronavirus lockdowns. 

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Ms Perry said: “The focus I gained from drawing slowly - at night time usually - fully immersed in concentrating on the pencil and the paper, allowing the image to emerge through careful cross-hatching, became a soothing meditative occupation that I developed for many months.

“As with many people over this period and since, I also did a lot of gardening - I always have done - and my thoughts were very much on the subject of soil, roots, and the weather. 

“This led me down a natural path of drawing moles, toads, voles, snails, in fact, anything that relied on the remarkable substance that is 'earth'.”

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Moles are considered a common animal in Norfolk, but very few people get to see them because they are almost exclusively nocturnal and spend practically all their time underground. 

Ms Perry added: “The drawings - combined with writing a brief, humorous weather report as a kind of diary entry to accompany each illustration - became a sizeable body of work.

“Not having originally planned it as a book, it now emerged as one, the drawings documenting a full year underground.”

Original artworks from the book recently went on show at Fermoy Gallery and Shakespeare's Barn in King's Lynn.

Ms Perry said that although the 90-page book was mainly for adults, it was suitable for all ages, and was available for £12 from the Book Hive in Aylsham, over Instagram via @jessicaperryartist, and other outlets.