By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter
A quiet area of London is being plagued by smelly foxes that keep mating loudly at night.
Gangs of urban foxes have been disturbing locals in Maida Vale for years and the issue is getting worse, people say.
Resident Steve Wilcox said there had been a rise of foxes “invading” private gardens, with groups of up to 12 gathering on people’s lawns.
Steve, who has lived in the area since 1987, said the issue began years ago, but seems to be getting worse.
He said: “There’s foxes waking me up nightly. I’m spending a fair amount of cash putting fences up on my walls.
“We’re getting this invasion of wildlife. The foxes come into all the gardens and cause disruption.
“It started about two-and-a-half years ago. I have had broken sleep every single night since then. I have felt alienated and invaded.”
Evidence seen by the LDRS shows groups of up to a dozen foxes gathering in residents’ gardens and making screaming sounds at night.
Steve said: “I wake up and there’s something the size of a dog sniffling of squabbling under my window, which is frequent.
“There’s a smell that pervades the garden. It’s throughout the year. If they’re not giving birth to cubs they are conceiving cubs.”
Steve said he has asked Westminster City Council for help but he is not sure it the authority can do anything.
A council advice sheet says the authority does not encourage members of the public to give foxes shelter in the borough.
It adds: “You may believe the quality of life is actually enhanced by the presence of foxes in our city.
“However, please take in to account your neighbours when permitting or encouraging foxes on your land.”
Pictured top: Urban foxes