Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Foxes now a giant problem across Sussex
Roy Lupton measures Britain's new biggest fox, which he shot near East Grinstead – Fieldsports Channel
Giant foxes are spreading across Sussex – and compost heaps could be to blame.
Experts say the animals are becoming more brazen as they have increasing contact with humans and are growing much larger in size by feeding on rubbish in towns and cities.
Pest controllers said that environmentally friendly compost heaps could be a major attraction to the county’s growing fox population.
Sussex’s biggest recorded fox weighed 35lb when it was shot earlier this year.
The Sussex showstopper, measuring more than 4ft 2in from nose to tail, was caught by pest controller Roy Lupton in woodland near a housing estate in East Grinstead.
They are getting bigger because they have easier access to food sources, like binsCraig Davies, the director of Brighton Pest Control
Mr Lupton said: “When I saw it through the scope I couldn’t believe it was a fox.
“I have never seen a fox of that size before. Not every fox we are shooting is making these sizes, but more and more individual ones are coming through.”
The incredible growth in the size of the animals in Sussex was discovered after Britain’s biggest recorded fox had been shot – weighing 39lb and measuring almost 5ft.
Experts are now predicting the plentiful supply of food and non-fatal methods of controlling foxes mean it is only a matter of time before even bigger foxes are seen in urban areas.
Craig Davies, the director of Brighton Pest Control, said: “From our experience, and speaking to other pest controllers in the area, they are becoming more brazen.
“There are definitely more of them around and they are becoming more used to seeing people. They are getting bigger because they have easier access to food sources, like bins.
“A lot of the time it is down to people having compost heaps at the backs of their gardens. People trying to be environmentally friendly are effectively providing a food source for foxes.”
Charlie Jacoby, of the hunting website Fieldsports, said: “Foxes are getting bigger. It won’t be long before we hear of a 40lber.
“But the tamer you make foxes, the more likely they are to bite the hand that feeds them.
“They are wild animals.”
Have you seen a giant fox? Email firstname.lastname@example.org