Queuing to join the city’s great carol singing tradition

Traditional carols at the Royal Hotel, Dungworth:
Traditional carols at the Royal Hotel, Dungworth:

Driving around Sheffield a night, they can often be spotted scurrying in gardens and woodland and even crossing the road.

Numbers of foxes in the city are thought to be increasing, and many householders are happy to encourage them.

But should people feed them?

A recent conference of public health and conservation organisations warned against it, intentionally or unintentionally, because it can disrupt the ‘natural order of things’ and artificially sustain populations.

“Foxes are a natural part of our urban environment but their numbers do need to be controlled to avoid them causing a nuisance or a potential public health problem,” said Bob Mayho, CIEH Principal Policy Officer. “Digging, defecating and bin raiding habits of foxes can cause considerable nuisance and disturbance.”

Sheffield environmental expert Prof Ian Rotherham believes the Sheffield area’s urban fox population is growing, but is not convinced that the relationship between humans and urban foxes is one to be concerned about.

“They have become a fairly common sight in Sheffield,” he said. “I get lots and lots of people emailing and writing to me about foxes, and I have not really come across and significant issue or problem, not like with badgers which can dig up back lawns and make a mess.

“Most people think it is fantastic to have a fox or badger in their garden,”

Prof Rotherham, who lives in Norton, says one woman in the area feeds foxes in woodland by leaving fresh pork on a bone china plate.

But not everybody may be so accommodating.

“If you are feeding foxes, a neighbour may not be happy about the noise or smell. People need to be considerate.”

And you have to remember that they are predators, not pets. “I don’t think there is a problem if you respect the fact that they are wild.

“People have fed foxes by hand in some cases, but they may get used to it and other people may not realise the situation. You might get a child who gets nipped.

“It’s a large animal, and they are killers. You have to respect them. You don’t want a fox that is so tame it runs up to a child, but the chances for people in urban areas to have this contact with nature is wonderful.”

There has been no major study of urban foxes in Sheffield since Derek Whiteley’s in xxxx.

“I have certainly not seen any evidence of a decline in numbers, or of any serious health problem, but it is very hard to tell,” said Prof Rotherham. “I think the numbers are still going up. If you drive around Sheffield, you’ll see foxes, and badgers, all over the place.”

Incrasingly, urban spaces are being ‘greened, which provides potential habitat, and there is plenty of waste for foxes to scavenge on.

“There are a lot of people who get a huge amount of pleasure out of them. People love to feed the birds and, increasingly the foxes. They are getting supplementary food.”

We are a wastefukl society. WEh have got lots of rubbish.

People love to feed the birds and increasing the foxes. They are getting supplementary food. It’s good pickings.

There are a loot of people who get a huge amount of pleasure out of them.

Prof Rotherham, reader in tourism at Sheffield Hallam University, is not convinced that the relationship between humans and urban foxes is one to be concerned about.

“They have become a fairly common sight in Sheffield,” he said. “I get lots and lots of people emailing and writing to me about foxes, and I have not really come across and significant issue or problem, not like with badgers which can dig up back lawns and make a mess.

“Most people think it is fantastic to have a fox or badger in their garden,”

Prof Rotherham, who lives in Norton, says one woman in the area feeds foxes in woodland by leaving fresh pork on a bone china plate.

But not everybody may be so accommodating.

“if you are feeding foxes, a neighbour may not be happy about the noise or smell. People need to be considerate.”

And you have to remember that they are predators, not domesticated pets. “I don’t think there is a problem if you respect the fact that they are wild

“People have fed foxes by hand in some cases, but they may get used to it and other people may not realise the situation. You might get a child who gets nipped.

It’s a large animal, and they are kilers. You have to respect them. You don’t want a fox that is so tame it runs up to a child, but the chances for people in urban areas to have this contact with nature is wonderful.”

There are a loot of people who get a huge amount of pleasure out of them.

No signidficant survey since Derek Whiteley.

“They have become a fairly common sight in Sheffield,” he said. “I get lots and lots of people emailing and writing to me about foxes, and I have not really come across and significant issue or problem, not like with badgers which can dig up back lawns and make a mess.

“Most people think it is fantastic to have a fox or badger in their garden,”

Prof Rotherham, who lives in Norton, says one woman in the area feeds foxes in woodland by leaving fresh pork on a bone china plate.

But not everybody may be so accommodating.

“if you are feeding foxes, a neighbour may not be happy about the noise or smell. People need to be considerate.”

And you have to remember that they are predators, not domesticated pets. “I don’t think there is a problem if you respect the fact that they are wild

“People have fed foxes by hand in some cases, but they may get used to it and other people may not realise the situation. You might get a child who gets nipped.

It’s a large animal, and they are kilers. You have to respect them. You don’t want a fox that is so tame it runs up to a child, but the chances for people in urban areas to have this contact with nature is wonderful.”

Charnock open plan gardens. Couple fo froxes and badgers on front lawbns next tom bus routes. They get enormous pleasure from it.

Fights ionly rabbits and chickens a problem. Dogsm may get a bit excited, and foexes wioukld run away.

I have certainly not seen any evidence of a decline in numbers in the Sheffield area or any serious helath problem for them. I don’t think there is an abundance, but it ios very hard to tell. I think the numbers are still going upl. There are a loot of people who get a huge amount of pleasure out of them.

No signidficant survey since Derek Whiteley.

If you drive around Sheffield you’ll see foxes and badgers al over the place.

Good conditions.

They are predators, nit oets. I wouldf say don’t feed tghem. Feed them if you get pleasure from them.

But they are wild animals, notdomesticated pets. I don’t think there is a problem if you respcet the fact that they are wild..

People have fed by hand in some caess, but they may get used to it and other people may bnot realise the situation. You might get a child who gets nipped. That’s the grey area.

It’s a lrage animal, it’s a predator, they are kilers. You have to respect them. TYou don’t want a faoxc that is so tame it runs up to a child, buit the chances for people in urban areas to have their ciontact with nature is wonderful.

Minmal aggression.

No cotnrols in urban aresa, greening: woods and open space, derelict land to woodland.

We are a wastefukl society. WEh have got lots of rubbish.

People love to feed the birds and increasing the foxes. They are getting supplementary food. It’s good pickings.