Column: A fleeting sight of an urban fox

Stock image of a fox. A Green MSP has called for a tougher ban on fox hunting in Scotland
Stock image of a fox. A Green MSP has called for a tougher ban on fox hunting in Scotland

Early on Friday morning I was getting into the car when I saw a fox run down the hill and into the neighbour’s garden opposite, then after a few seconds it reappeared and ran back up the hill.

Seeing a fox in the area is not unusual, I see foxes every once in a while, often early morning or in the evening and often walking down the back lane or beside the railway line. Initially you think it’s a ginger cat, but then the size and bushy tail give it away.

They are always a welcome sight, although I think they use my garden as a toilet occasionally.

The suburbs are an increasingly a popular habitat for foxes, which first began to seriously colonise these areas in the 1930s.

The combination of medium-sized back gardens, which provide a good selection of food (worms, fruit, mice etc.), plus daytime cover and den sites (hedges, sheds) is ideal for their needs.

In fact, suburban areas can be more suited to foxes than large swathes of monoculture in the countryside and city dwellers are actually more likely to spot a fox than those who live in the countryside.

During the winter months they may make their presence known through loud night time shrieking, as they vocalise their efforts to find a mate. It is an eerie and piercing sound, for which the only answer is ear plugs!