Friday, November 16, 2007

Old Fox?

a Yellow Necked mouse on a bird feederThis morning I have been watching two Jays hopping around my back garden. Magnificent birds, part of the crow family. We also have Yellow Necked mice, closely related to the Wood Mouse. They climb up the tree and pinch the nuts we put out for the birds [pictured]. And we also have squirrels and visiting Foxes, although we do not see the foxes much, they are quite shy creatures. Which brings me to the point of this post.

The knives are out for the Urban Fox yet again. Yesterday’s Wanstead & Woodford Guardian [print edition only] carried a feature on “The Great Fox Cull Debate”. Opposed is Barbara White a member of the National Fox Welfare society and local campaigner.

Cllr Allan BurgessFor, is that wily silver haired old Fox himself, Cllr Allan Burgess. He is quoted as saying “there is no apparent method of control”. Well, it is nearly panto season so, Oh! Yes There Is! The population of any animal species [including Humans] is governed by their food supply. It is the lack of any hygienic method of disposal of our waste food [particularly takeaways] and the Council’s indifference to enforcement that is responsible for the increase in fox numbers. It is quite simple to stop foxes ripping open bin bags – you just put them inside a dustbin. If you can’t get them all in – you are not recycling enough.

Allan is also quoted as saying that they [foxes] “deposit faeces everywhere”. Well, Allan, so do birds, and domestic cats and dogs [in far greater quantities], do you want to cull them too? Oh! And so, apparently, do Council binmen.

One more reason why we need a Nature Conservation Team to educate our Councillors.

18 comments:

  1. Sounds like crap to me.

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  2. Sorry mate, I'm with Cllr Burgess on this - foxes belong in the countryside, there are no predators further up the food chain here to keep down the population.

    And my cat wishes to point out that he and his relatives poo tidily in earth and cover it over, unlike uncouth canines. Nor do felines dig holes in lawns like those damn rats with pretty tails that infest these 'ere parts.

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  3. This Opposition Councillor from Valentines certainly doesn't agree with Councillor Allan Burgess on this matter! We have jays, wood pigeons and squirrels all coming into our garden and they are a real joy. Sadly, the mice don't have much of a chance with my two cats! But I would love a hedgehogtoo if anyone has one..

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  4. I would like to point out Judith, that the moggies round here do not poo tidily, they leave my Pansies in a right mess. I wouldn't mind if they were wild [the squirrels also dig out my pot plants].
    What I object to is someone else's "pet" pooing in my garden or on the pavement where I need to walk.

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  5. ".....hedgehog.....". And just which councillor does that describe?

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  6. Trial run!
    Urban foxes are a really emotive subject in Redbridge. At my first ever Area meeting (Area 4 during this summer),I watched Cllr Weinberg looking thoroughly bored (virtually asleep)until somebody complained about foxes. He woke up. He loves foxes!
    Cllr Candy adores them too. I do not mind foxes too much unless they are dead because it is not very nice to dispose of them, you have to bag them and ask the council to collect. They are not your foxes but they become your problem if they die in your garden (or your elderly neighbour's garden!)
    an activist

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  7. The urban fox, like those tree rats to which Judith refers, have become vermin in the urban environment. Compared with their country cousins the foxes are scrufffy and unattractive. But B21 is correct about their food supply. It arises through neglect of a ststutory duty, and failure to control disposal of waste from what some call 'fast food'.

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  8. No such thing as urban foxes,They
    have their own territory its just that we have built our houses deeper and deeper into their land.
    Its us who are encroaching on them
    I have a couple of foxes living around here, they pass me by, why
    because theres nothing here for them.
    Many species of wild life now
    live in our cities because its easier for them to survive. They
    cant beat us so they have jioned us.
    Ron King

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  9. Morris, far from me to comment for the sake of it (!), people actually buy tinned of dog food to feed the foxes. Recently, I watched, with amazement, the lady in front of me announcing that she was buying all these tins to feed the foxes in her garden!
    If B21 allows a French quote, chacun a son gout, everyone to his/her taste, but I don't think the fox issue will be solved easily.
    an activist

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  10. Thankyou anonymous activist. The deliberate use of the French gives me a clue!!

    And with regard to an earlier post I might have known that Judith would have a superior pussy.

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  11. Goodness me, fame at last, my name on the Barkingside 21 blog. Yes, I confess that although I do not actually love foxes, as stated by an anonymous writer, I have no problem with them - as many previous comments have been made - if residents disposed of their rubbish carefully, used dustbins and didn't leave black plastic bags on the pavement then the food supply would soon disappear and perhaps foxes would move away for more easy pickings.
    Ann Candy

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  12. Was it Bob Hope who once referred to someone called "Ffanny Fox or Foxy FFanny". Whichever way it is they are a pest when they start squabbling half way through the night.

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  13. Yes - a relevant question, B21. Squabbling? Isn't that what passes for leadership these days?

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  14. Squabbling, Barkingside 21, is like saying to the other half, "what's for dinner tonight" and being told "that's all you ever say to me".

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  15. I agree with Ron. It's the foxes and other species that I feel sorry for having to put up with relentless human activity, our massive superiority complex and our domination of the earth. We complain about the activities of Vulpes vulpes whilst Homo 'bloomin' stupid' sapiens is quite happy to treat the entire planet (and even outer space) like a limitless dustbin. We suck out all the goodness the earth has to offer us and spew out all the toxic rubbish we can create in the huge wake of our insatiable greed and consumerism. Our seas, air, soils and fresh water are polluted because of our activities and we have the nerve to point the finger at foxes for being dirty and a nuisance! I'm far more concerned about the poisonous cocktail of toxins we encounter in the products we use every day than a bit of fox mess on my lawn or patio. Let's get our priorities right. It's the human race that needs to control its behaviour and amend its ways and the sooner we wake up to that the better. This earth is not just for OUR benefit. We should cherish it and all the wonderful creatures that have no choice but to 'share' it with us. Do something useful, get knowledgeable about real environmental issues, read the Ecologist magazine, join Friends of The Earth, Greenpeace or WWF instead of whinging on about wildlife - much of which faces extinction because of our selfishness and the fact that we can never be satisfied with what we've got.

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  16. Cllr Candy is famous anyway (for the right reasons), and caring and respected. I thought she loved the foxes because she mentioned that you could help their mangy looks by providing them with medicated honey. Now, if this care is provided without the motivation of love, you are an exceptional person indeed.
    an activist who may be known to Morris via the French Connection.

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  17. I have been a Naturalist for well over 50 years. The Fox is here because of human activity in the Countryside. Also, humans leave so much waste about that the fox has taken on the role of vultures in other countries. That is it feeds on the waste and eats what it can. Redbridge Council should undertake its legal duties and enforce planning rules concerning the number of food takeaways and the careless disposal of refuse. Leave the fox alone. It has a valuable part to play in the eco-system.

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