Being a bit stuck with the blessed knee, which is improving at the speed of disabled snail, I’ve not a lot to report from the plot. The first year has been a bit of a disaster from the grow your own point of view but at least the house is sorted out.
Even so, we’ve had a few potatoes and we’ve enough carrots to keep us going and feed a horse from as well. Thanks to the chocolate spot, ended up with one small meal from the broad bean bed. Oh well, next year!
Because I just can’t do it myself, I’ve found a local chap who’s coming next week to lay a base for the new greenhouse. It’s frustrating but I don’t really have an option. Humping slabs would end up in me needing an operation.
Anyway, I’ve been asked a questions by email that I thought might interest people.
Can you or any of our fellow members give advice on what to do about getting damn foxes off our allotment plots and stop them tearing our protective tunnels?
Kind regards Carole & Terry“
Foxes are a problem we associate more with poultry keeping but they can be a nuisance on allotments and in gardens even though there are no poultry about.
The first thing to remember about foxes is that they are scavengers as well as hunters. If you use bonemeal or blood, fish and bone fertiliser they will be digging away to find the body they think is buried near.
Foxes will also go after mice and sometimes rats. This is actually a benefit to us gardeners but the price is the fox trying to find his prey inside cloches etc.
Keeping Foxes off the Allotment
So, if the damage outweighs the benefits, what to do? I’m afraid it’s not easy. Many of the time-honored methods for keeping foxes away simply don’t work with urban foxes.
Bunches of hair begged from the hairdresser tied to the fence or male urine around the edges of a plot used to scare the fox away. Now the urban fox is used to people and he doesn’t scare easily. There are some chemical deterrents available that claim to keep the fox away. I don’t know about their efficacy though.
The only sure way to keep foxes out is fencing. Effective fox proof fencing is expensive. Ideally it would be six feet high and have an outward sloping part at the top and use heavy duty mesh rather than chicken wire. Justifiable for protecting a flock of poultry but much more expensive than repairing a few cloches or a polytunnel.
The main problem on an allotment site with electric fencing is health and safety. What if a child walks into the fence? What if someone’s pet dog gets a shock?
So in conlusion, I don’t know of an effective, realistically costed answer to the problem.
Perhaps someone else has solved it and will let us know.
A good dog can be a help.
There are actually people near us who feed foxes tins of dog food! Attracting more to cause all the damage you mention, and killing lambs, chickens etc etc.
Problem with foxes is that if you kill one, 10 more come the the funeral.
I find the most effective remedy is not providing them with a reason to come and visit. If you’re using a fertiliser like Blood and Bone, try grating some fragrant soap on top of the soil too as this will block the scent. Powdered pepper, garlic powder and chilli powder also work, in surprisingly small quantities. Make sure to reapply after rain fall.
Also stop putting out food! I don’t mean meat scraps on the lawn, but things like rubbish bags with leftovers in. If you do throw away food, double bag it inside a sandwich bag, then put it in your normal rubbish, that should keep the scent in a little bit too. A couple of heavy bricks on top of bins as well, or thread a broom stick through the handles of the lids if you have more than one bin.
Fencing isn’t really practical for most people, but for chicken or poultry keeps it’s essential in most areas. Bury the bottom of the fence at least 12 inches down and if you can’t provide at least 6 foot of height above ground, try enclosing the whole thing, sort of like an aviary.
Personally, I love foxes, but I garden in the country side and rabbits are all over the place!
Hello,I live in Suffolk and have recently become the owner of some beautiful chooks , that I adore. I’ve been pondering the fox debate for the last couple of days , I have five lovely girls locked up tight in their chicken shed for the night . The local fox which lives near by is a constant worry . My chickens are fenced in at all times with a 6 ft mesh fence but Im convinced this isnt enough to stop a fox. I am currently saving hair from our brushes to hang around the fencing , but am fearful of electric fencing because of my little girl , dog and cat. If anyone reading this knows of a product that i can spray or sprinkle around my chicken enclosure to deter a fox I would be very grateful .
We have a family of foxes on our allotment site. They were there before we were though.
They are getting bolder each day though.
There is a fox that has taken residence on my allotment. I want rid of it because of the damage they cause but the problem is the site rep wants to keep it!! What is the best course of action?
@Joanne: Get the site rep to repair / replace any damage caused by his new pet. Simples!
I am on the management committee of two sites separated by a canal, which is used as a motorway into town by wildlife which belong in the countryside,or at the coast, foxes, badgers, rabbits and now Muntjac deer. Not to mention jackdaws, crows, jays, Gulls, grey squirrels and rats. Badgers in particular last year destroyed 90% of root crops and all sweetcorn on site adjoining large cemetery, disturbed many graves and have an acknowledged sett in the cemetery. They have trashed communal lawn areas. THEY ARE PROTECTED. With foxes, continual disturbance of routine is a deterrent, but Badgers is a no no. Male urine sprinkling is ineffective, they are used to people. Electric fencing is being installed for a four figure sum which will only cover one third of the site. Give up?