Hello to all of the Gardeners question team
We have been fortunate to have lived at our present home, which has an acre of garden, for more than 30 years. We had two donkeys when the children were young, and have had resident foxes and badgers at times, also visiting pheasants on occasions, rabbits and lots of birds, insects and pondlife.
My query to you though is maybe somewhat different from the kind that you generally receive. It concerns the problems experienced with foxes (the badgers moved on many years ago). They did not bother us when the children were young, but for many years now have been increasingly troublesome in digging holes in the lawn area nearest to the house (approx. 12m x 30m). I have ensured the fencing and gates covering the area are secure and highish, to no avail. It is definitely worse in the spring and autumn and when we go away on holiday. We were recently away for more than two weeks and the lawn rather resembled a ploughed field when we returned. I have tried PIR activated lighting (that was great for fox mating), lighting supplemented by a siren, jeyes fluid on cloths and sticks, high frequency sounders, covering the lawn as much as possible etc – all with very limited success.
The foxes have a den at the bottom of the garden and in a neighbours garden; they do not appear to need much sleep and we often see them lying in our wildflower lawn further down the garden, dozing near the their den in the sun or wandering about. They are so well known to us that I have given the most recent ones names. The 3 most recent culprits were born in the garden, there is Norman (no tail – he is a sturdy fox who was born without a tail). Willie (with a white bit on her tail) and Bertie (black bit on tail). It was quite a delight to see their three heads pop up, together with their Mother’s head, when we were passing the wildflower lawn 4/5 years ago and they had just been born. It is Willie and her recent cub who are presently seen the most.
So there have been rather nice moments with our foxes over the years (one young fox used to run around with the children even at dusk time), but this is counterbalanced by the aggravation caused by the digging of holes in particular on the lawn closest to the house. If I fill the holes in they are invariably dug out almost immediately, and if I cover the holes up new ones are dug nearby.
It does have its amusing moments, but I would emphasise that being not able to limit the foxes from the one area of garden has become a battle which we find increasingly trying, and would much appreciate if you are able to consider a solution (my most recent thoughts have been to rent a dog for example).
Many thanks and we wish you continued success and enjoyment with the programme.
Peter and Sheila Cullen
- 19 Oct, 2011