• Rachel Falber

Celebrating our fabulous fox friends!

Hi! Welcome to my brand new monthly blog all about nature and the environment, how we impact it, what we can do to help it and the individuals and organisations already fighting on the side of nature for a better, more balanced future.

Each month I will research charities, discuss facts, and highlight individuals making a difference, I will use my artistic practise to combine words and art work and include links to find out more information and where you can help the cause should you feel that way inclined.

Nature and the environment have always been a passion of mine, I was bought up respecting and appreciating it and now I have my own business I want to use that as a way to make a more impactful difference.

This month the theme is on the beautiful fox, I decided on foxes because where I live there is a fox that visits every evening, even though I live near a fairly busy road I have seen some fantastic nature right outside my sitting room window, so my first blog post is dedicate to my lovely foxy neighbour!

After researching a few charities and organisations specialising in helping these beautiful creatures I decided to focus on this one: The Fox Project, they are a UK based charity who dedicates their time to helping 100's of foxes and cubs every year! Here is there website for more info: http://foxproject.org.uk/ they have some great services on their website including phone numbers for a wildlife ambulance, ethical fox deterrents and the wildlife information bureau.

They are based in Kent and have links to work experience and volunteering if thats something you would be interested in, I would be if it was closer to Bristol! They also have social media pages which include loads of gorgeous pics and news. @TheFoxProject - Facebook @thefoxproject - Instagram.

Some facts about foxes:

Foxes live in loose family groups that are normally comprised of a dominant male and female and their young. Typically, a litter of four to five cubs will be born in spring and are largely independent by the autumn. Some cubs will stay with their family group, while others we leave to find their own territory. The majority of foxes live no longer than three years.

Threats to foxes come from game keepers and farmers protecting their stock, as well as a huge amount of fatalities from cars, however it's not thought that UK fox numbers are something to worry about (yet!).

Some things to avoid if you encounter a fox or want to feed them:

Trying to tame, touch or hand-feed foxes, especially in urban areas. As wild animals, they should be respected and deterred from becoming too bold. Many people are scared of urban foxes because they mistake their inquisitive behaviour for aggression.Putting out excessive amounts of food that could encourage foxes to become overconfident.Putting out food they can take away and cache. Offering something they can eat on the spot discourages them from digging up neighbours’ gardens! There is no guarantee they will be as pleased to see them as you.Leaving out uneaten food that could attract unwanted visitors like rats.

The bulk of a fox’s diet is made up of meat protein, so the best things to feed your local foxes are cooked or raw meat, or tinned dog food. They are also fond of peanuts, fruit and cheese.

Foxes can be fed all year round but should follow a set feeding routine. This encourages them to return to your garden at a certain time to wait for their meal. Food is less likely to be left standing, which in turn discourages rats.

- Facts and information sourced from The Woodland Trust. https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/

Myth busting:

There are a few urban myths surrounding foxes and I would like to clear those up:

1. Urban Foxes don't have rabies

2. Foxes don't eat or attack cats ( my cat nonchalantly walked past a fox the other day and barely noticed it!) its estimated only 0.7% of cats have been affected by foxes and these are small kittens who shouldn't have been let out so early.

3. People think that mange can be transferred to people but it's not true, the mite that causes mange don't like people. If you think a fox or indeed any other wild animal you encounter looks like it could have mange there is medicine you can give it in food, you can contact these guys: http://www.nfws.org.uk/ and they should be able to send you out the medicine.

Fox Hunting

Sadly, fox hunting still happens a lot and completely illegally and, of course inhumanly, not only that but the brave hero's that try to sabotage them get abused and treated appallingly, I want to give a a shout out to a fantastic company that not only make awesome clothing but also give up their weekends to sabotage illegal hunts: @staycloseclothing check them out and give them some love and support they do amazing things. http://www.staycloseclothing.com.

If you want to help any of the above issues or charities do! There is plenty of info online to help the cause. Also if you feel inclined do share or like etc this post to spread awareness. I hope you've enjoyed the read.

x - HRD - x

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