Sunday 4 November 2012

Those b****y Foxes again!

Regular readers will know full well that my garden is plagued by foxes. They do an enormous amount of damage in my small garden, in which every plant is precious. I know from years of observation that the foxes make a nightly "Tour of inspection" of this area, working their way through all the gardens seeing if they can pick up some scraps, rummage in a poorly-secured dustbin, or dig up some vegetables. Now I know they don't deliberately dig up plants; they only do that in order to get at worms underneath, but even so, the plants still get uprooted.

The foxes seem to follow an established route, which they have used to my certain knowledge for at least 21 years, because that is how long I have lived here, and they have always followed this path. They like to enter and exit my garden at certain points. Now if it were down to me, I'd tolerate this. In fact I'd even make a "door" for them, since that would minimise damage to my property. Unfortunately my neighbours adopt a different approach. They attempt to block the foxes' entry points with big stones, paving-blocks, bits of wood etc. When this happens, the foxes simply dig another hole under the fence - oblivious to the damage they cause to the fences and the plants growing nearby. Here's what confronted me yesterday:

Yes, a new hole under the fence. Under that pile of soil lie some Marjoram plants, and just out of shot to the left is this:

Two of my precious "Autumn Bliss" raspberry plants, completely uprooted. Well, I did the only sensible thing - I transplanted them further along the fence, and I didn't fill in the hole. But I expect that within a couple of days the hole will have been blocked on the other side of the fence, and the whole thing will start all over again.

Yes, I was angry when I took those photos. But then I calmed down and looked for some other more attractive photo-subjects. It was, after all, a nice sunny morning...

The Ladybird Poppies are having one final fling before Winter:

But the last of the Dogwood leaves are falling off. The final leaf on each stem is often the last one to go.

The Blueberry bushes look almost transparent in the sunlight.

We've just had all the guttering on our house replaced, so in an odd way I'm rather looking forward to having some heavy rain, just to see how the new gutters perform. Now that we're into November, I don't think I'll have long to wait...

P.S. Sunday morning brings new woes. The foxes have evidently turned vegetarian:-

Something has completely destroyed one of my precious Red Cabbages! I only have had three and this one is definitely beyond redemption. Now I wouldn't normally expect a fox to gnaw through a cabbage like that. All I can think is that maybe they spotted a worm hiding in amongst the cabbage leaves and decided to rip the vegetable apart in order to get it. The fact that there is a large excavation in the raised bed right next to this ex-cabbage is circumstantial evidence, because this is very characteristic of the fox's antics.

P.P.S. Jane said that only I would dash outside in the pouring rain to photograph this cabbage and thus turn a miniature disaster into a blogging opportunity. Thanks, Jane; I'll treat that as a compliment...!


  1. Well done Mark counted to ten and took a lovely photo of a Blueberry bush

  2. Wow what a lot of damage they cause, and I get all ticked off when the squirrels with their teeny little paws dig little holes looking for peanuts they seem to think I have buried just for them!

  3. Well dogs and wolfs are omnivores, not quite the carnivores that most people think they are. I would think foxes are the same. My last dog loved cabbage. If it were here though I'd guess groundhog from the massive damage but it is possible it is a fox. My worst pest here seems to be the cats nowadays. They just want to find a place to go to the bathroom, but that means digging up seedlings. We did have a skunk go through last month that ripped up the raspberry bed looking for slugs and worms. Luckily it was just rototilling the soil and not actually digging up the roots.

  4. Well, I would have been mad too and would probably be like your neighbor, lol. Sorry you lost a few plants but I guess there is nothing to do about it.

  5. I suppose you've tried explaining to your neighbours how foxes work. I guess the only way to try and stop them is to sink something into the soil so that when the foxes try to excavate they come across a blockage.

  6. That's wierd, the foxes here don't dig (the cats do) they tend to jump over the fences (6ft) and manage it very easily. Although I do have to confess they dig holes in my plant pots to bury food, I have found dog chews and a pie once.

  7. Yes as Dauphne dog also loves anything in the brassica family. Have been feeding him baby Brussels sprouts the last few days as the bean tepees are now down.

    So... thinking foxes would like cabbage as well.

    Sorry to read about the damage though, aggravating I can imagine!! Maybe a neighbour meeting to make a fox highway so they can get through the way they have done for eons.

  8. Sorry Mark but your post made me laugh! The vision of you hurtling around your garden in the rain trying to get a pic of a chewed up cabbage sort of dispelled any images of foxes!!!! I'm truly sorry about the damage Mr Sly inflicted on your garden but I'm with Jane on this one I'm afraid!!! lol xxx

  9. Annoying! Have you talked to your neighbour about it? I have a deep seated hartred of foxes which killed any number of my pet chooks and occasionally our baby lambs when I was growing up. I'd be even more annoyed with them if they dug up my garden as well....

  10. Any opportunity to live trap and relocate the critters?

  11. We have the same situation with badgers if you block up their run they just dig further along - we have tried for years to stop them all to no avail. They must have been hungry to eat red cabbage though.

  12. Those foxes would try the patience of a well done St. Mark!
    I'm with you on the photo opportunity front...doesn't matter as long as you get your shot!
    Have a great week and hopefully the foxes will decide veggies aren't for them...but then you do grow exceedingly good veg! ;D

  13. Any update on your fox troubles, Mark old bean?

    I'm in Central London, UK and urban fox problem is rife.
    Digging to bury food is something I hadn't considered and might explain why the foxes in my front and back gardens dig where I know there are no bulbs or owt of interest.

    Do you just carry on gardening and re-fill the holes they make?

    They do seem to be determined / fixated when they start trying to dig under my fence. They get into a proper frenzy, biting at the fence panels whilst ferociously digging. I go out and spray them with stale man-pee which sees them off but annoyingly, as soon as they are up on the wall they stop and look back waiting to see what my next move will be.

    I've read that moving them or doing them in doesn't help as another lot will simply move in on their patch.

    I also tried the prickly plastic grids but they just tiptoe across it.

    What about feeding them -could that distract them from any subterranean morsels?

    Pale Paul

  14. I’ve got foxes digging up my vegetable trug. They’re pulling up everything except my strawberry plants. Could there even be worms in a trug? How?


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