Greg Hands is my MP, yesterday he raised in the commons that urban foxes were the scourge of his constituency and that they must be reclassified as vermin so they can be culled.
Except, councils can cull foxes if they want already, and do if there is a problem, it is not illegal to kill a fox on your property, it is a dumb-ass idea to leave a ground floor window open at night regardless of status of urban foxes. So he was told it’ll be raised, but nothing will likely come of it. Fair enough, apparently foxes in the area are a big issue, I asked how many people complained and have yet to have had a reply from Mr Hands, but I also got told another Fulham resident had heard a fox had got into his neighbour’s house and was found in their bed. I like to imagine them coming home and finding the fox belly up with its little face and paws coming out from under the duvet.
Like this, only cuter.
In a Daily Mail article , that Mr Hands alludes to it becomes clear that the victim is quite likely someone who lives near me, as I live opposite the Sainsbury’s mentioned. As such, I think I can give lots of anecdotal evidence about the foxes, I see them regularly, and I hear them a lot, and what a racket they make. I also live opposite the warehouses which they have made their headquarters for co-ordinating their onslaught on Fulham and can say they almost certainly breed their. A nuisance they might be, but I have never felt threatened or intimidated by them, as I often walk and cycle in the area at night, I challenge the idea that they have no fear, they scuttle off pretty quick if you come close. Essentially, I am in the prime location for being annoyed by them, and they don’t bother me at all.
However, I do use local cycle paths. One of which on my normal route is a counterflow segregated lane outside the school where Mr Hands is a governor, normally someone in an SUV will have a door open into the lane and while I am hardly inconvenienced waiting for them to close it, I am annoyed that no-one ever apologises for it or even acknowledges I’m there or hurries up their loading of cars. A more irritating thing is the lane this week has been having road works done to it where the lane has been closed without notice, or prior road sign warnings or even a diversion notice made. This is actually both annoying and dangerous as the entrance to the lane is often obscured by vehicles and I came to turn into it to find a blocked path, more its insult that obviously the council doesn’t think to put signs up telling cyclists to go to the next junction. I complained to Mr Hands about this and have yet to have a reply – or maybe he has blocked me on twitter. Its a quiet side road which effects more than one cyclist a day, yet no attention paid at all to this.
Another annoyance, is Mr Hands seems to think this is a worthwhile campaign for him to launch, I have no idea how many people are effected in the constituency or ward, but the same ward just had its local library and community centre condemned to closure. When presented with a petition of over 8000 signatures Mr Hands pretty much brushed it off saying he didn’t support saving it. I mean, why both campaigning on something a large number of people in a single ward care about. What’s more the campaign against foxes seems to lead to the council doing the culling, which no doubt will cost money, money I honestly would rather see going to the community.
My last point is I feel that this urban fox problem will be used as further evidence that the warehouses opposite definitely should be turned into a supermarket. That’s the plan at the moment anyway, one I disapprove of. Why does this area apparently have an issue with foxes? Probably because there’s a supermarket next to the warehouses which throws out food which they eat, and can live happily. While the foxes do breed in the warehouses, they are foxes, they will find somewhere to mate near to such a good food source, so I don’t see how removing the warehouse with solve the problem without addressing the food source, namely litter and the massive supermarket. The warehouses have previously been cited as a source of anti-social behaviour, again living opposite them, I feel best placed to say I have never noticed any such behaviour and likewise the worst comes from impatient car drivers, especially on Chelsea match days. While I am not opposed to redevelopment, I really don’t want a bigger Sainsbury’s across the road from me. Here is a map of supermarkets near to where I live.
Essentially the area has lots of green space and plenty of food opportunities for foxes that wont be solved by tearing down one breeding site to introduce a bigger food source.
NB: Meme picture – I know its not the right font or size, but I promise to improve, maybe, if I feel like it.