Animal Focus: The wily red fox

Photo by Maurice Schalker on Unsplash

It’s quite common to see foxes on our allotments these days – once a denizen of the countryside this attractive bushy-tailed creature, common throughout the Northern Hemisphere, has also come to make towns and cities its home over the last few decades. Some estimates even suggest that there are now more foxes in UK urban areas these days (presumably because of our wastefulness with food) than there are in rural areas.

Foxes are usually quite shy animals, and are mostly active at dusk and during the night, searching alone for food. However, they tend to live in family groups of one dog, one vixen and her cubs and a few female helpers from previous litters. The family can have several lairs and one or more breeding dens, or earths, within their territory. Females usually give birth to four to seven cubs between March and May.

Signs of foxes on your plot to look out for include:

  • distinct paths through grass
  • gaps in hedges
  • diggings
  • and droppings

To show just how commonplace foxes are to our allotments here is some footage of their numerous comings and goings on my Craven Vale plot. What handsome creatures they are!:

Did you know the scientific name for the red fox is Vulpes vulpes, which literally means ‘fox fox’ in latin?!

And why do we say ‘wily as a fox’? Does anyone know?

Published by Nick

A plotholder on Craven Vale Allotment since 2010. I'm particularly proud of my expanding vineyard, which in a good year creates litres and litres of red and white wine! I love our site for the fabulous views over the sea and Downs, as well as the wealth of wildlife that can be found here. It really is a bit of countryside in the heart of the city. I feel very lucky to have my plot.

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