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Have you seen a country fox this year?

Simon King Simon King | 17:11 UK time, Monday, 24 May 2010

In previous years our team have explored the lives of urban red foxes in our towns and cities but this year we're on the trail of their shyer, more elusive country cousins.

But at the moment they are really giving us a run for our money. I've seen a couple of young families in chance encounters over the past couple of weeks, but none in ideal filming locations.

It could be that some families are later than usual due to the fiercely cold winter we had, or we may just be missing them, and we'd really like your help.

Have you seen any country foxes with cubs this year? Is their earth in a fairly open area or in a woodland clearing? Have you seen more or fewer foxes than usual? We'd love to hear your stories, especially if you've spotted spring cubs. If you've taken photos or video of them, even better.

Remember it's only foxes in a rural setting we're interested filming this year, NOT urban foxes or those in suburban gardens.

Post a comment below or send us your photos here or your videos here.

Update 1 June 2010: Many thanks for all your help and information here. An amazing response. We've now found the country foxes we need for this series. We're still on the look out for black foxes so if you've seen any please let us know. 



  • Comment number 1.

    I've been quite lucky and have seen a fair few country foxes this year including two adults and at least one cub. However saying exactly where they are is a bit more of a problem as I am regular traveller on the East Coast mainline train service and from there you get to see quite an amazing amount of wildlife, often very close to the tracks. The three foxes where about five minutes north of Newark on the east side of the track about 25 meters back. On a good journey I would expect to see at least two or three foxes in different locations as well as various deer, other mammals and a variety of raptors and birds.

    The other place I have seen foxes from the train tends to be just before York stations, about two or three fields south of the Tesco supermarket on the southern approach to the town, again on the east side. But I have not seen any cubs there though it was possibly a little early for them.

  • Comment number 2.

    I have seen and smelt them in and around Hampshire. A couple of weeks ago I came upon a male fox who just stared at me, didn't run away. I havent seen any cubs yet this year but last year I saw lots quite close. There are dens in old buildings and in woodlands.

  • Comment number 3.

    I see them in passing, in the area around the border of Scotland and England (Gretna area) when I am driving: very rural area.

    WWT Caerlaverock has foxes too: but don't know if there are any cubs. When I have seen them they have been from the Saltcot tower, Folly hide or where the badger watching takes place

  • Comment number 4.

    I have seen a dog fox trotting about, quite close actually, but no cubs, perhaps he has some somewhere, but not that I have seen, sorry.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes Ive seen plenty in the daytime here in 'the Blackmore Vale'...quite a few dead Cubs on the roads though...

  • Comment number 6.

    There's loads around Stroud, Gloucestershire like in Minchinhampton, Rodborough, Brimscombe.. I see loads just along in the fields and woods. Over winter we had one come to the garden and feed. Haven't seen any cubs but I'm sure there are lots around if you have a look!

    Saw one the other day in bright daylight, he hung around for a while before wandering rather calmly away.

  • Comment number 7.

    I have seen 2 foxes recently ... I live 5 miles out of Norwich in the countryside. Both times the fox looked at me for a couple of seconds before disappearing into the rape field ... I often hear them calling at night too. Its strange that this is the first year I have seen them and in quick succession.

  • Comment number 8.

    The only country fox that I have seen this year was one at Churt Common in Surrey on the 11th April. The thing that I noticed most about him was his amazingly thick and rich coloured coat compared to the many urban foxes that I see in the local area.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi i am currently taking photo's of country foxes where i live,in a small village called South Marston,In SWINDON,Wiltshire. there are 5 cubs in this family. And i know where the den is, all my photo's on flickr are from the family. S R W Photography is my flickr. You also have my picture of a little owl on your ( The team's favourite photo's.Mr Stacy Woolhouse

  • Comment number 10.

    I have a family of foxes living in the woods at the back of my house. We live on a farm and have our own woods. The foxes are not disturbed by us and they can be seen wandering around the fields and sometimes come into the garden to eat fallen bird seed. We had a large male fox sitting in the field opposite our house coughing at the moon last night. He didnt run off, even when I shone the torch at him and shouted at him to leave the chickens alone this time-he ate all 12 of our neighbours chickens recently, and they had to be replaced.
    We found a dead young fox recently near the woods- it had been seen previously limping,but we couldnt catch it to help it. We dont know if it had been injured on the road or had mange. We found it dead the next day.
    We also have badgers living in the woods and they seem to get on with the foxes.
    We are really lucky and also have deer, bats and owls in our woods.
    We do our best to help our wildlife but many creatures seem to get run over and killed on the roads- no need for culls.

  • Comment number 11.

    I live in the cheshire countryside and I think I have a fox visitor at night, I've never seen it. But it likes to leave little presents by the fences. Does anyone know of a good website to identify scat?? I'd like to know for sure. we also get badgers and regular tawny owl visits. If anyone can recommend that website I'd really appreciate it. Thanks guys

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi Simon and Wildlife friends.

    I am lucky enough to live in south Lincolnshire where we have some stunning countryside. Last year we had two successful family's on the fen we live near. I have again, seen this year seen a very pregnant vixon which was 2 weeks ago and she did look ready to drop.

    I am really lucky as not only can i often see them but in the feild opposite, there is an old stable where the past 3 years has seen Barn Owls breeding and they are back again this year too.

    If anyone from the springwatch team would like to come and check the locations out, send me an email :D

    Kind Regards


  • Comment number 13.

    For the past week I have been lucky enough to watch two adult foxes hunting in a field whilst four cubs play on the edge of the same field.

    you can not see the earth as it is in a large bramble patch but the cubs play on the grass outside. there is a ready made hide in the form of a disused stable 30 feet from the cubs "play ground"

    unfortunatley this land is private and i do not know who owns it... the same field also has Roe, Fallow and Muntjac as well as Buzards, Red Kites and a pair of Hobbies nesting close by. Some places are too good not to tresspass on!


  • Comment number 14.

    Saw a family of foxes in a field in Branscombe, Devon today - out in the open at about 2pm

  • Comment number 15.

    Well i have seen a fair few country foxes this year..... and some with cubs. I love were i live because its the perfect country side for them and its were last of the summer wine was set and filmed. I have been watching 1 family recently which contains the vixen and 3 cubs. the cubs look to be at least 2 month old and are quite playful around the den especially around early evening. I havent filmed them as of yet but i would like to and it would be even nicer if the spring watch team could do it.

  • Comment number 16.

    I live in West Cumbria - the lake district. I hear foxes more often than I see them, but a recent viewing was of a very dark, near black fox, I'm guessing a vixen by her size, but the amazing thing was the colour, barely a hint of red at all - caught in the headlights, gave me a very dirty look then evaporated - fantastic !

  • Comment number 17.

    Foxes have been seen at the Blashford WLT reserve but unfortunatly when we looked recently but we could not find them. The cubs have grown up now and are a lot more wary.

    Kingstone lacy is another place but that is not much help as it is the outskirts of a town.

  • Comment number 18.

    Does the one I saw on holiday in the grounds of St David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire count, or is that too urban?

  • Comment number 19.

    You might like to take a look at a wildlife blog by Kate, she has countryside foxes near her house.


  • Comment number 20.

    We have a quite few foxes in and around our stables, and I caught a slight glimpse of a tiny cub peeking out of some undergrowth in the woods the other day, but I haven't seen it since. My dog also loves the foxes as he primes and preens himself in eau de fox poo on a daily basis.
    There is also a fox charity not far from us, prob the reason the population has increased.
    On Monday in the hot weather I saw a site that I thought I'd never see, in a field near a large bramble bush there was a tiny black rabbit nibbling on the grass and not more than a few meters away, a young fox basking a rolling in the sun not taking the slight bit of notice of the rabbit, very bizarre.

  • Comment number 21.

    I've seen a couple of big foxes around the lanes where I ride, but no sign of cubs anywhere yet.

  • Comment number 22.

    I saw one a couple of weeks ago, we were in the car at Holme Fen, Cambridgeshire after walking the dogs and it run out in front of us. We halted quickly and it run into the field, took a look back at us as we were watching it and then run into the distance. I have never seen one that close before. The dogs always find their tracks in Holme wood too much to our dislike, it smells disgusting.

  • Comment number 23.

    Got some on my Mums property out in the fields in gloucestershire, have sent Sam a mail about it. Good luck with the search!

  • Comment number 24.

    Saw a fox from a distance in a conservation area by the river Meden, Church Warsop, Nottinghamshire on Saturday the 22nd May.

  • Comment number 25.

    I currently feed about 7-10 rural foxes, and eagerly await the new cubs.
    Have been feeding them for a number of years and as I keep chickens we have an agreement, they stay away form my chickens and I provide the food, works so far! Every night they wait under the apple trees and are quite used to me. Seems the new cubs are late this year,

  • Comment number 26.

    Thanks for your amazing responses everyone!

    We're forwarding them on to Simon so hopefully he'll track down a happy fox family to film soon!

    Sam :)

  • Comment number 27.

    we have a family of foxes who's den is at the bottom of our garden, along with a badger set and tonight we have seen 6 badgers there. The female fox has been coming into our garden with her partner all through her pregnancy and now has 4 cubs, which she has started to bring into the garden now, she is in the garden every night and comes right up to the house, we have a out-door light which she sets off when she comes up to the house so we get to see her and her cubs clearly.

  • Comment number 28.

    sorry didnt say but i live in the beautiful oxfordshire countryside with my family of foxes and badgers :-)

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm just back for a walk up in my local wood and saw a fox for the first time in years! I was trying to photograph a great spotted woodpecker who was outside its nest hole when I heard a kerfuffle coming from a group of crows in nearby trees. I looked just in time to see the russet colour of the fox at the edge of the field. I couldn't cross directly over to where it was because there was so much undergrowth so I walked down the path a little way and then looked back but couldn't see him. A woman came along with two big dogs and a minute after she left another woman came along with her dog chucking a stick along the side of the field just where the fox had been. So gutted I didn't get a photo but seeing it gave me such a buzz! I'm in a place called Carnoustie in Angus, Scotland.

  • Comment number 31.

    i have been lucky enough to se a den with fox cubs. i myself saw 4 cubs but my friend who discovered the den have seen 7 in total and the mother.

  • Comment number 32.

    I live in a rural area in Staffordshire. My house is surrounded by open fields. We have seen foxes occasionally over the years, but this year, I decided to set up a range of camera systems in my garden.... several nestbox cameras and a camera in the hedge, overlooking the field next to my garden. I started putting a few dog biscuits out at night, hoping to capture some nightime visitors. Within a few days, the foxes began visiting. Over the last few months, a pair have been regular visitors. The vixen, who I call Fern comes every evening any time from 6pm onwards. She looks like she is feeding cubs as her teats are clearly visible, but I have been unable to locate her den yet. I am sure it is close. I have taken lots of photos and recently bought a wireless remote for my Canon 7D and set it up in the hedge. I have been really pleased by the results. I have lots of information about my garden and its wildlife at www.wildlifekate.wordpress.com, including my recent photographs. I love being able to see these wild animals so close to my home.It is very special!

  • Comment number 33.

    Just come back froma walk and seen the foxes again. This time on the near by railway hunting :D

  • Comment number 34.

    I am not sure if these foxes count as 'country' foxes or not - they are in woodlands in the North Downs in Surrey. I spent about 35 hours a couple of weeks ago photographing a set of 4 pups and their mother from a hide I constructed. They were amazing. Some of the images can be seen on this Link.

  • Comment number 35.

    I have seen adult foxes where I live, which is the tiy village of Eddlestonm near POeebles, in the Scottish Borders.

  • Comment number 36.

    I have seen a family of foxes at night, outside their earth. I live on the northern edge of our city right on the edge of the countryside. Not sure if you'd class them as country or urban as they live so close to the countryside/city border. Directly to the north of the earth is the beginning of farmland and open countryside with woodland stretching to the south, heading into the outskirts towards the city. The earth's entrance is situated about 2ft from a country road, running roughly east to west, and looks to be dug in under the road.

  • Comment number 37.

    About a month ago I saw a fox trotting across Dunwich Heath, Suffolk. It was a gorgeous, vivid red colour and it was an absolute delight to see in it's natural habitat.

  • Comment number 38.

    We have seen rural foxes just off Church Lane in Durley/Horten Heath in Hampshire. There were 2 foxes in the field we watched for some time at sunset. Both were oblivious to us for a while and when they smelt/spotted us they scarped very fast. Not sure if this was a pair or brother/sisters or 2 males. Its also very near a badger sett on the same lane. Hope this is of some help. Ele & Steve/

  • Comment number 39.

    At 9.30am this morning we have been watching a spectacular sight which not many people have the pleasure of seeing. FIVE FOXES(yes that's right-5)who playing in our field which is next to the house. There are 3 cubs who were playing and chasing each other around. They are living in the hedgerow on the edge of our ground and we have viewed them around 9pm in the evening.
    What a joy on a beautiful Sunday morning.

  • Comment number 40.

    We have a large den in the field infront of our house containing parents and four cubs. Their situation is in completely open grassland surrounded by many rabbit warrens I usually see one or more of them most days.

  • Comment number 41.

    This spring I have had what looks like dozens of Bee like insects in my pond many of which have drowned. They seem to be feeding on stuff around the edge & on the Duck weed. Any ideas what they are & why this is happening. I have a photo but not sure if i can put it on the blog page.


  • Comment number 42.

    Vixen and 3 Cubs seen only last week on Beeston Common SSSI. Beeston rgies in on the North Nofolk coast.

  • Comment number 43.

    I have often seen a fox near my house at Danesbury Park Nature Reserve, Welwyn, Herts, an area of neutral grassland owned by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. It is a rural area.
    Also saw a dead cub at side of road further away.
    I can not be sure where den is, but think I do know where it may be and is in an open area.


  • Comment number 44.

    I was recently lucky enough to observe a young fox cub wander right past me while I was watching a pair of badgers and their cubs at a sett in coniferous woodland which I have known for years but had never watched before. I think the fox cub must have emerged from one of the peripheral sett entrances. More info on this and other encounters with badgers and foxes in my blog, http://brockwatcher.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi guys, I have sent in some great footage of Fox Cubs, James Mair has them, it's a Family of Fox Cubs suckling their mum, also I have sent in some more film of a Three Legged Vixen whom has brought up a family of 4 cubs, this was Filmed in Full High Definition. I live in Worcester, & I have the perfect place for your camera crews to film this, has this is where I got my shots from. James has my contact phone mumbers.
    Kind regards Bill Mapp

  • Comment number 46.

    Please, please, don't give locations of exactly where you've seen them, as hunting still goes on and the hunting ban is about to be repealed in parliament. Don't make it easy for hunters to find them.

  • Comment number 47.

    I have seen a couple of country fox's over the last couple of weeks while walking my dogs in blanford. There were three pups but I didn't see the parents I am sure they were watching us!

  • Comment number 48.

    Re: Urban foxes.
    I have seen a vixen several times close to our village in Dorset. Recently (about 10 days ago) she appeared with two cubs. No idea of the age but they were fairly independent and inquisitive. They would appear to have a den in undergrowth adjacent to some disused farm buildings.

  • Comment number 49.

    For the last 2 weeks I have been watching a family of wild foxes on the Hundred River marshes at Kessingland in Suffolk. The family comprises of the Dog, Vixen & 2 cubs (Basil & Brush). They can be observed in the same location each evening. This site has been home to a family of wild foxes for the last 3 or 4 years. I would be more than prepared to share this location with the Springwatch team if necessary. This site is also regularly frequented by barn owls and muntjack deer.

  • Comment number 50.

    Saw 2 yesterday, around 4-5 pm.

  • Comment number 51.

    8.45 am Yesterday morning in Lower Cambourne, I saw a healthy adult fox on the bridle path between the boundary woods of the country park, on which the village is located. I stopped still to watch the fox and it did exactly the same in return. After a brief stare out it hopped back into the boundary woods. Cambourne was created as a new settlement on the Beds/Cambs borders in the late 90s and the Wildlife Trust manages the country park on which Cambridgeshire's newest town was built. 10 years on, its amazing to see the wealth of wildlife thriving in the country park surrounding the settlement, including cheeky foxes like the one I saw on my way to work yesterday.

  • Comment number 52.

    I live in east midlands, I was birdwatching in a wood when a fox came along the foot path I was on(to wards me) took no notice of me at all.
    It just sniffed the air turned and went in to the wood. As if I was not there. lovely.


  • Comment number 53.

    hi guys in the notrh east a RSBP site called salthome have a rural fox
    family with 5 cubs as this is what i have been told p.s please take notice

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Simon and Team,
    Just thought you might like know I have seen a Black Fox! Yep, they can be found in Herefordshire (down the road from Kate!!) in the wonderfull cider area of Pembridge. This Black Fox can be seen here - http://www.dunkertons.co.uk/blackfox.html
    Ok so its not a real one, but I GUARANTEE you, its the best cider you'll ever drink and you will see black, white and all colours of fox is you have a few of them!
    Love the show and congrats on your OBE. What a fantastic job you all have.
    Best regards

  • Comment number 55.

    I have seen loads of foxes this year more than any other year! I live just outside Diss in Norfolk and travel to Bury st Edmunds for work everyday. There are 2 spots where i am most likely to see them just outside a small village called Palgrave and this year they have 3 Cubs delightful to see running across the fields and playing it definatley makes my day!!

  • Comment number 56.

    Hi there - just last week I watched a young fox family playing at dusk in the Suffolk coast area close to Minsmere. The site is very easy to find but I don't want to post the exact location publicly as the foxes may get too many 'visitors'. Please let me know if you would like the exact location.

  • Comment number 57.

    Well done Donna - Please all be very careful if you are giving away locations of foxes on here. Most people are like myself animal lovers but there are those who can't wait to repeal the hunting act and bring back this brutal so called sport. The Tories promised the Countryside Alliance they would do so which meant they kept it quiet before the election so as not to make the public aware and vote accordingly. I would hate to think the brush and pads of a beautiful black (or any)fox were to end up in some hunters trophy cabinet having found out their location on here. Also the season for Autumn hunting "cubbing" is approaching with many hunts blatantly disobeying the ban and ready to train young hounds to chase cubs while their earth's are blocked up and they can't escape. Don't make it easy for them - they will probably reveal themselves now by responding to this message to make out it is not cruel etc etc, hopefully you think the same as I do and prefer to see your foxes alive and in their natural habitat.

  • Comment number 58.

    There is a family of red foxes including at least two cubs living just beyond the West boundary of my land that I have seen come out and play at evening. I am also lucky enough to have a badger sett and an Otter sett locally but unlucky in that I also have Mink.
    In the past few weeks I have seen Roe Deer, Red Deer, a Brown Hare, the dratted Mink, Pheasants, Slow Worm, Bats (Noctule I think), a Common Lizard, Dragonfly (Bropwn Hawker), Roach & Rudd, Tadpoles, Multiple birds and butterflies and evidence of Badgers digging for pig nuts all on my doorstep! So lucky to live in the countryside :-)

  • Comment number 59.

    I was woken up recently at 4am to the sound of a fox outside (I live in a village in Weston Super Mare) yelping.
    When I looked out the window, there was my cat approx 3 feet from the fox staring him out! I did wonder whether she gave him a bop on the nose!
    I then saw him saunter off with his tail between his legs!

    Fox 0 - cat 1!

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi All,

    I Live in the village of Fintry and have to commute from Fintry to Kirkintilloch and the surrounding countryside. Late one night about 6 weeks ago I was driving home and walking towards me was a most beautiful fox with its eyes transfixed by my headlights. I stopped and it slowly approached the front of the car, sniffed the air and quickly jumped through the fence on the nearside of the car, making its way at haste to the hills in the distance.

    The second sighting was near the village of Auchinloch, with large open fields and a loch nearby. It was 0530 hrs and, as I drove north to Kirkintilloch, spotted in the field to my left, a large fox. I slowed down to stop but each time I tried to photograph it, the fox would take off ahead of me. I finally lost sight of it in a clump of bushes alongside the Lenzie to Glasgow railway line.

    Around the countryside of Fintry especially near the Endrick Water there are several foxes but as yet I have not seen any cubs or managed to photograph them.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hi guys, I have sent in some great footage of Fox Cubs, James Mair has them, it's a Family of Fox Cubs suckling their mum, also I have sent in some more film of a Three Legged Vixen whom has brought up a family of 4 cubs, this was Filmed in Full High Definition. I live in Worcester, & I have the perfect place for your camera crews to film this, has this is where I got my shots from. James has my contact phone mumbers.
    I was wondering if you are going to show any of the footage I sent in.
    Kind regards Bill Mapp

  • Comment number 62.

    We are country dwellers & regularly see foxes. A small vixen usually has an earth at the top of the field at the rear of our cottage, but so far this year we have not seen any cubs, which is unusual. Many of the country foxes suffer from 'mange' which you have yet to mention, although some of the foxes you have shown clearly suffer from this. Pet dogs can catch this horrible affliction & regularly do! Our springer spaniel often turns out a fox whilst we are on our twice daily walks.

  • Comment number 63.

    About an hour ago we had a very small fox cub just outside our patio doors eating bird seed. We live in a rural setting just outside edinburgh. The cub looked healthy but very young. It eventually disappeared under some very thick bushes between my garden and my neighbour's. Should I put some food out for it? I am hoping the earth is under the bushes and all is okay. I would be grateful for any comments


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