Thanks to Wheatland Farm guest Nicola Clarke for sending us these lovely images of a fox cub that ‘came out to explore’ right outside Honeysuckle Lodge.
Nicola and family were staying at the lodges a couple of weeks ago, before the heat wave. At that point, things looked a bit more green in Devon. In fact, the weather was decidedly wettish at some points – but there were still highlights.
This cub seemed entirely unafraid and was watched from the eco lodge on several occasions. We’ve been seeing other foxes around too – there’s one that likes to bask on the paths below Balebarn Lodge in the mid afternoon. It will retreat if you approach, but it’s often there. And other guests staying in Balebarn Lodge said they’d had a fox come right onto the veranda and look in the window. Wow!
Sadly, foxes are still hunted in Devon, and we’ve had our share of run ins with the local Eggesford hunt. So we slightly fear for these young animals come the autumn. But we will continue to do our absolute best to keep the hunt away and provide a safe haven for foxes and all our other Devon wildlife.
Seeing foxes and cubs up close like this can seem normal in city centres, where urban foxes have lost their fear of people. But in the countryside most foxes remain pretty cautious and timid – because they are persecuted.
Of course, there’s the chicken side of the story too – we’ve had our share of fox strikes in the past. But everything has to eat, and that includes the foxes. Really it’s our job to make the runs fox proof if we decide to keep chickens. Mostly, these foxes are going to be eating mice and voles, and the odd worm. That sounds fair enough.