We have been fortunate to live during lockdown in a very rural location in Cumbria, UK and equally fortunate to have a sizeable garden. During these months the countryside around us has had far less footfall than usual and wildlife in general has thrived. Normally seeing a fox is a rare event although, alas, we are often aware of the hounds hunting on the fells. A vixen became a frequent visitor to the garden, initially eating birdseed, but then the dog food we put down for her when we became aware of her condition, as she became very thin and it was obvious she was feeding a litter of cubs. Over the next few months a few cubs would accompany her to our garden and play there, but none became as bold as the vixen. This was the bravest but he kept his distance at the end of the garden & you can see how wary he is in this picture. We let the grass grow long on the lawn to provide a more natural-looking environment. The mother still continues to come during these dark, cold nights and hopefully she will have another litter next year. I feel very fortunate to have experienced these encounters with justifiably wild and wary creatures.
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Clare Disano • Editor