Friend or foe? Opinion is split over the foxes in Redbridge gardens
The pros and cons of foxes have been debated on the Recorder’s website, Facebook and community website Streetlife this week.
Following our story last week about a Gants Hill resident who had three foxes shot after they became a “nuisance”, people have shared their experiences, good and bad, of the creatures.
Hundreds of readers voted in our poll on how far they would go to get foxes out of their garden.
Most, 78 per cent, said they had no problem with foxes at all.
16 per cent said they would have them legally killed and four per cent said they would use free deterrence methods, while two per cent would pay.
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Many people contacted us saying they were horrified at three foxes being shot in Gants Hill.
Ilford resident Valerie Wright said: “Foxes like to sunbathe on our lawn and earlier this year the vixen brought her cubs to be suckled in full view.
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“We thought it a beautiful sight and felt privileged. I would be heartbroken if anyone harmed them.
“Please would people try to co-exist with foxes. They are just trying to eke out a living as their own habitat is shrinking due to the needs of the human race.”
But Noel Cottrell insisted they were “pests”.
He said: “Foxes in Redbridge are a pest. I cannot imagine a conceivable benefit that their skulking presence brings the borough.
“I too have had a garden troubled for five years by the aggro of fox families rampaging through flowerbeds—and been dismayed that our council is happy to look the other way.”
But Sharyn Khan said she loves foxes and feeds them daily.
She added: “Humans are the real pests they do more damage than any fox does.
“We had a trampoline in our garden a few years back and loved seeing them bounce up and down especially the youngsters.”
And Susan Cunningham, of Seven Kings, contended that foxes play a “vital role in the food chain” and keep rat populations down.
She said people should be educated to “respect and accept wildlife” rather than fearing it.
Wanstead fox expert Graham Le Blond, who runs deterrence firm Foxagon, said killing foxes is not a solution.
He added: “There will always be foxes in a territory and they have been in London since the 1930s so we’re not going to get rid of them.
“All killing a fox will do is make room for another one to move in.
“There isn’t an animal in the country that polarises people like the fox does, but the people who really hate them often don’t understand the animals.”