Number of urban foxes living in UK has 'quadrupled in the last 20 years', study finds

Chloe Chaplain
Urban: There is now a higher density of red foxes in towns and cities than the countryside: Getty Images

The number of urban foxes in the UK has quadrupled in the last two decades, with towns and cities hosting one fox for every 300 people.

A study by scientists in Brighton revealed that the number of foxes living in urban areas of the country has soared to 150,000.

Bournemouth topped the list – with 23 per squared kilometre – closely followed by London – which has 18 per squared kilometre - Bristol and Newcastle.

According to The Sunday Times, the number of foxes living in UK towns and cities in the 1990s was just 33,000.

London: A fox strolling down Downing Street (AFP/Getty Images)

And with a decline in the number of rural foxes, scientists believe there are likely to be a higher density of red foxes in urban areas than in the countryside.

Researchers asked members of the public to report fox sightings and also tagged the animals with transmitters in order to collate the study.

Mammalian biologist Dawn Scott, of Brighton University, suggested that Bournemouth was particularly popular because leafy suburban gardens provide the perfect habitat for foxes to raise cubs.

She said: "Housing types and the suburban structure in Bournemouth might be slightly more suitable than the areas in London we surveyed to support higher fox numbers.”