Wednesday, 24 April 2013

There's a devil in my garden

And he is eating my bantams.

"I'd rather have men in pink coats than Stourton"

As if life isn't hard enough with polecats, grey squirrels (thank you USA), badgers, stray dogs, feral cats, buzzards and weasels, we now have a fox, or, to be more precise, a Daddy Fox and a Mummy Fox.

I phrased it in this manner especially for readers of a nervous temperament.

 Dog fox and  vixen - for the more anthropomorphically challenged.

Now that fox hunting has been banned by an Act of Parliament (because those politicians and townies just can't bear to think of poor little foxy woxy being chased by naughty doggies. Pity about the aborted babies though), the fox population has rocketed and they are now as common as rabbits.

What to do?

I can no longer shoot the blighters as I've surrendered my shotgun licence (my Church of Wales farming neighbours are sensitive about an orthodox Catholic who owns a shotgun living next door to them, I can't think why).

Poisoning is illegal and indiscriminate.

But a solution has been found - and it does not involve late night rituals with bell, book and candle.

All it requires is a simple transistor radio - playing 24/7 as they say.

Placed beneath an upturned bucket to protect it from the elements I have found that Radio Four is particularly effective at keeping the varmints at bay.

And when Ed Stourton broadcasts of a Sunday morning, I have noticed that the whole countryside falls into a state of frightened silence.

If only dear Ed was on radio 52/365 the Welsh countryside would be rid of badgers, weasels, foxes and the like for good.

I think I might put it to Ed as a novel way of creating a new income stream....but, on second thoughts, maybe not.


  1. Perhaps you can help me. Whenever I ask this question, as a townie, I only get dismissive responses like 'oh you wouldn't understand'.

    Why is fox hunting NOT gratuitous violence?

    On another point, my cousin has found human urine round his chickens keeps the foxes at bay
    (yup, he does!)

  2. Tony, I am not a follower of fox hunting but I think it a marvellous and traditional country pastime during which, the fox does what comes naturally and runs from a predator and, quite often, gets away.
    A sheep or cow in an abattoir has no such opportunity for escape.
    Most people who hunt foxes are farmers and labourers, not the 'toffs' that Socialists believe them to be.
    And, yes, urine does work, up to a point but Pembrokeshire foxes are doughty beasts and it won't keep them at bay for long.
    BTW, if you would like to send me a recoding of you reading one of your newsletters I will happily try it out on my foxes; I am sure it would be more effective even than Ed Stourton's unctuous tones. :)

  3. Agreed on the fox hunting. I think they are adorable and love to see them scamper but would shoot them if they tried to eat my chickens. That coop IS our grocery store and a bandit is a bandit.

    You gave up a gun permit? Remember, I'm from the US. I can't imagine giving that up. What are your laws on guns? We're fighting to keep our rights but it seems only the criminals and politicians have rights over here right now.

    Good luck on the fox situation.

  4. What is the nature of Radio 4 that is so loathsome to critters?

    By the grace of God I live in East Texas and in the woods. The wail of wolves is not uncommon, and the wild, eerie, scary scream of the panther can sometimes be heard on winter nights. We also have feral hogs (they WILL kill you) and alligators (they WILL eat dogs, hogs, calves, and children). I am comforted by my good ol' 1905 SMLE with "ER" (for Edward Rex) engraved on the receiver. A little radio would be futile against attack.

  5. Kathy - I gave up because, other than a large garden, I have no land to shoot over. Here, the population is scared stiff of guns and while twenty years ago I could have strolled down a country lane with a shotgun in the crook of my arm, I would, today, be subject to police action. As far as criminals and politicians are's the same here. Good to hear from you.

    Mack - Radio 4 is mainly concerned with the spoken voice, hence it scares foxes. My fox problem seems very tame compared with feral hogs, alligators and panthers. Maybe a tape of some evangelical hymns would work (they scare me half to death).