The urban London fox is a beautiful wily creature. We miss seeing our resident fox in the back patch and suspect a generational change has happened. We’ve spotted younger looking foxes in the front and circus area, but none seem to make the back patch or woods a regular part of their patrols.
In winter 2018 we had a very active older fox residing near or in the back flower gardens. She (or he) guarded the territory ferociously, with some wild fox fights happened in spring.
Late April 2019 and there’s a new fox in the back patch – a young one with a big white blaze on the chest. Very light coloured fur. And what a howler! It made the most strange, quaking wailing sounds one night at about 3.30 in the morning.
Late April 2019 while on the allotment I saw a ragged and thin female fox with dropping teats, so obviously had had some cubs. She was bold but hesitant at the same time. I just went about my business getting water from the trough, puttering and weeding. She came along across the front allotment plots, stopped in her tracks to lock eyes with me for a bit, and then crossed the stairs and continued on her way. No sign of the cubs.
Early April 2020 we spotted a slinky wild looking fox on the allotment. It’s tail was very thin and mange-eaten, poor thing! No sign of our usual foxes in the back patch. Apparently there’s been some council work on a boiler house for L&W which some say may have dislodged a large fox den.
We saw a similarly slinky fox, with a mange-eaten tail making its lonely way along the railway tracks during the London coronavirus lockdown mid-May 2020. The Hampstead overground station is eerily empty, with not a soul on the platforms. During the quiet of lockdown wildlife of all sorts are exploring farther afield and enjoying the emptier urban spaces. Go foxes, go!
At midnight on 4 June 2020 we witnessed two young fox cubs with their mother frolicking and pouncing about in the back patch. They were particularly enjoying the new meadow patch in the middle of the lawn. A lovely sight and they both looked healthy and very happy and frisky. The mother seemed to have a sore paw and slight limp, according to the big guy who got a better view of her than I did.