Residents in Durham Avenue, Woodford Green, concerned by fox problem

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Leslie Brand in her conservatory Leslie Brand in her conservatory

FAMILIES in a quiet suburban road say they are becoming increasingly worried by the behaviour of a pack of foxes.

The animals have been entering houses on Durham Avenue in Woodford Green, stealing food, defecating and, in at least one case, getting into fights with household pets.

Leslie Brand, who lives in Durham Avenue, said:“They came in through the window of my conservatory last Friday and pooed all over the place.

“The week before that they attacked my dog Tubby. He was covered in cuts, it’s very distressing.

“It worries me because there are a lot of people around here with young children and these foxes are getting so bold - they follow you and have no fear.

"I do think they could attack someone.”

Neighbours Ian and Susan Philp also said the animals behaviour was changing.

Mrs Philp, 59, said: “They are definitely getting braver.

“In nice weather I used to leave the back door open and hang up the washing while my grandson had a nap.

“But I won’t do that anymore because I’m worried the foxes will come in the house.”

Mr Philp, 64, said the animals had got into his shed and chewed his golf bag.

“They can be very endearing creatures and you think ‘lovely’ when you see the cubs,” he said.

“But when you try and shoo them off, they just stare at you. They are getting bolder and bolder.”

At a meeting of the council’s Area Two committee last week, Bridge ward councillor Robin Turbfield said he had been contacted about the problem in Durham Avenue.

Discussion of the issue led Roding ward councillor Gwyneth Deakins to comment: “I have always been in favour of establishing a Woodford hunt so that people can go Tally Hoing down the streets shooting or tearing the things to pieces.”

However, Graham Le-Blond, who runs Aldersbrook-based fox management company Fox-a-gon, said culling was not the answer to the problem.

“Bromley council culled foxes from the late 1940s until the early 1980s,” he said. “And when they stopped, the fox population was the same as when they started.

“Killing foxes does not solve the problem. If you don’t  want them in your garden there are sprays you can get to stop them.”

A spokeswoman for Redbridge council said: “Redbridge Council doesn’t provide a service for destroying or trapping foxes.”

The council offers the following advice for reducing nuisance from foxes

• Find out if the fox is attracted to your garden by debris, rubbish or a compost heap.
• Remove any attraction, debris or rubbish, repair garden fences, raise the height of any bird tables and don’t leave bird or other animal food out overnight.
• Check your boundary fences for any holes that make access easy for foxes (however foxes are extremely good climbers).
• Do not leave refuse sacks out overnight
• To reduce the risk of scavenging ensure you tie rubbish sacks and place them securely in a dustbin
• Keep gardens tidy or arrange to help vulnerable neighbours if they struggle to maintain their garden because foxes will often hide in neglected gardens

For more information or advice on foxes, call the council's Pest Control Service on 020 8554 5000, visit www.redbridge.gov.uk or call The National Fox Welfare Society on 0193 3411996.

Comments (7)

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2:05pm Mon 26 Nov 12

John J C Moss says...

The fox population in rural areas has increased since the hunting ban and in areas like Woodford and Chingford, which are right on the edge of Epping Forest, it is rural foxes who are increasingly the problem.

This is because their rural "territory" is now over populated as they have no natural preditors, so they are encroaching deeper in to suburban areas. (It is almost certain the fox which attacked the sleeping baby in Hackney was a rural fox)
The fox population in rural areas has increased since the hunting ban and in areas like Woodford and Chingford, which are right on the edge of Epping Forest, it is rural foxes who are increasingly the problem. This is because their rural "territory" is now over populated as they have no natural preditors, so they are encroaching deeper in to suburban areas. (It is almost certain the fox which attacked the sleeping baby in Hackney was a rural fox) John J C Moss
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Cornbeefur says...

When you get people actually feeding the animals what do people expect? same with the other vermin, squirrels.

Should be a ban on putting out food and an organised cull.
When you get people actually feeding the animals what do people expect? same with the other vermin, squirrels. Should be a ban on putting out food and an organised cull. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Mon 26 Nov 12

LakeBreeze says...

I've heard that male human urine can be a deterrent!

Get a man to pee around the edge of your garden -- apparently the scent is like that of a larger predator to the foxes, and they don't want to enter. I can't vouch for whether or not this works, but it's worth trying anything.

As for open doors and windows -- there is something they do in the USA, mostly in the hotter states where bugs are a nuisance -- they have fine-grade screens over their windows and a "screen-door" over front and back doors. You can have your door standing open, but as long as the screen-door is closed, animals can't enter.

It's not an elegant solution as people here are not used to screens on their doors and windows. But if you're having persistent problems with the entering of wildlife into your home (even flies in summer), it could be a solution.
I've heard that male human urine can be a deterrent! Get a man to pee around the edge of your garden -- apparently the scent is like that of a larger predator to the foxes, and they don't want to enter. I can't vouch for whether or not this works, but it's worth trying anything. As for open doors and windows -- there is something they do in the USA, mostly in the hotter states where bugs are a nuisance -- they have fine-grade screens over their windows and a "screen-door" over front and back doors. You can have your door standing open, but as long as the screen-door is closed, animals can't enter. It's not an elegant solution as people here are not used to screens on their doors and windows. But if you're having persistent problems with the entering of wildlife into your home (even flies in summer), it could be a solution. LakeBreeze
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Mon 26 Nov 12

sw8888 says...

How irresponsible of Councillor Deakins to make remarks about hunting and tearing animals to pieces. Is there not already enough cruelty against animals in this country without ignorant remarks made by local councillors trying to appease people. Fact foxes do not attack humans, how large do you actually think a fox is ? it is not a tiger roaming around. To all those fox haters, leave them alone the world is not just for humans.
How irresponsible of Councillor Deakins to make remarks about hunting and tearing animals to pieces. Is there not already enough cruelty against animals in this country without ignorant remarks made by local councillors trying to appease people. Fact foxes do not attack humans, how large do you actually think a fox is ? it is not a tiger roaming around. To all those fox haters, leave them alone the world is not just for humans. sw8888
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Mon 26 Nov 12

LakeBreeze says...

sw8888 wrote:
How irresponsible of Councillor Deakins to make remarks about hunting and tearing animals to pieces. Is there not already enough cruelty against animals in this country without ignorant remarks made by local councillors trying to appease people. Fact foxes do not attack humans, how large do you actually think a fox is ? it is not a tiger roaming around. To all those fox haters, leave them alone the world is not just for humans.
Good post, sw8888 -- we're all overlooking Deakins rather blunt and graphic solution.

I agree this planet is the home of all species, not just humans. It is we who have imposed upon what used to be their territories. What needs to happen is to find ways to live with what is now urban wildlife.

The officially sanctioned war on city pigeons, city foxes, etc is a losing battle and also rather pitiful -- it seems like some people desire a town or city with not a single living thing in sight but humans, and that's apocalyptic in my view.

Again, the answer needs to be humane approaches, not mass slaughters and other cruel measures.
[quote][p][bold]sw8888[/bold] wrote: How irresponsible of Councillor Deakins to make remarks about hunting and tearing animals to pieces. Is there not already enough cruelty against animals in this country without ignorant remarks made by local councillors trying to appease people. Fact foxes do not attack humans, how large do you actually think a fox is ? it is not a tiger roaming around. To all those fox haters, leave them alone the world is not just for humans.[/p][/quote]Good post, sw8888 -- we're all overlooking Deakins rather blunt and graphic solution. I agree this planet is the home of all species, not just humans. It is we who have imposed upon what used to be their territories. What needs to happen is to find ways to live with what is now urban wildlife. The officially sanctioned war on city pigeons, city foxes, etc is a losing battle and also rather pitiful -- it seems like some people desire a town or city with not a single living thing in sight but humans, and that's apocalyptic in my view. Again, the answer needs to be humane approaches, not mass slaughters and other cruel measures. LakeBreeze
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Cornbeefur says...

ClifftonX wrote:
Cornbeefur wrote:
When you get people actually feeding the animals what do people expect? same with the other vermin, squirrels. Should be a ban on putting out food and an organised cull.
Cornbeefure, judging by the reaction you usually get on this website, I think it woudl be far better to stop feeding trolls and cull them also. Perhaps we would then not have to read your, generally, puerile rot.
How do you suggest getting rid of Foxes and Squirrels (the biggest threat to song birds) then?

Do you have anything constructive to say?
[quote][p][bold]ClifftonX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: When you get people actually feeding the animals what do people expect? same with the other vermin, squirrels. Should be a ban on putting out food and an organised cull.[/p][/quote]Cornbeefure, judging by the reaction you usually get on this website, I think it woudl be far better to stop feeding trolls and cull them also. Perhaps we would then not have to read your, generally, puerile rot.[/p][/quote]How do you suggest getting rid of Foxes and Squirrels (the biggest threat to song birds) then? Do you have anything constructive to say? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

8:57am Tue 27 Nov 12

Miss Magoo says...

I don't think most people are feeding the animals - walk down any high street and see the amount of pavement food waste (especially outside chicken shops) and there's a ready supply of food for foxes.
I don't think most people are feeding the animals - walk down any high street and see the amount of pavement food waste (especially outside chicken shops) and there's a ready supply of food for foxes. Miss Magoo
  • Score: 0

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