Urban Foxes near Roman Road Market

Fox sleeping in back garden Bow, London, E3

Last night I was woken by the screaming of a fox in the street. This morning when I opened the curtains there was a fox fast asleep at the back of the garden. I opened the door to chase it away, and it turned out there were two adult foxes in our tiny garden. They hurriedly leapt over a 6 foot wall, and I missed taking their photo. It’s been about a month since I last chased one away.

A quick bit of research turns up that there are about 10,000 foxes living in London. Foxes are adaptable and will live anywhere there is food. They eat fruit, vegetables, insects, earthworms, birds, and small mammals like rats. They’ll also forage for food that’s been thrown out, but eat less chicken and chips than you’d think! If you find dead animals hidden in your garden it’s because foxes keep a cache of them to eat later – maggots and all. They’ll also leave fox cubs alone, but come back later.

I read that they are not a danger to humans unless cornered. Attacks on babies or small children are extremely rare. Foxes don’t hunt in packs. Urban foxes will meet a lot of cats during the night, which they will ignore. The cat would win in a fight.

Foxes dig up grass, and poo in gardens, but apparently there’s not a lot we can do about it. It’s the foxes themselves who adjust breeding to match the territory and food available. Attempts at culling urban foxes, or catching them and transporting them out into the countryside, did not reduce their numbers.

The average urban fox only lives for 18 months, and road traffic is their biggest killer.

Meanwhile this lot can live in someone else’s garden – not ours.


  1. Stepney
    We have a young fox who visits both in the mornings and the evenings. He is cautious but comes within two metres of me and my partner by the open door to the garden and stealing the cats food and drinks. It’s sooo cute.

  2. That wasn’t very kind. They have as much right to live here as we do, we share their world not the other way round. I feed 3 Roman Road foxes and I think they’re beautiful courageous animals.

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