Animals, Mammals

Scientific name: Vulpes vulpes

The fox has reddish-brown fur, a white chest and a bushy, white-tipped tail, called a brush. Its nose and ears are pointed. Foxes are widespread and quite common throughout Britain, and a surprising number live in towns.

They are active at dusk and during the night, searching alone for food. However, they tend to live in family groups of one dog, one vixen and her cubs and a few female helpers from previous litters.

The family has several lairs and one or more breeding dens, or earths, within their territory. Females give birth to four to seven cubs between March and May.

You may be lucky enough to see a fox, but they are shy creatures. Instead, look for evidence of their presence, such as tracks and droppings.

Although they can be quite variable in colour they are easily recognised by the large and conspicuous oval and kidney mark and a W-shaped mark near the outer edge of the forewings. There is a dark melanic form f. aethiops which is more frequent in the north.

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.
Specific name:
Vulpes vulpes
The fox is a remarkably adaptable and successful animal found, where food is plentiful, in almost every habitat.
head and body about 90 cm, tail about 50 cm, stands 40 cm high
Weight: up to 10 kg
Common. Well distributed throughout most of Britain and Ireland.

What does it eat?

They are scavengers and eat almost anything they can find, including insects, earthworms, fruit, berries, birds, small mammals, carrion and scraps left by humans.

When will I see it?

At dusk and night at anytime of year.

Where will I see it?

Throughout the garden searching for food. Look for tracks, droppings, overturned bins and chewed remains, which show a fox has paid you a visit. Foxes mark their territories with greyish droppings in prominent places.