How teamwork saved the foxes at Dungeness
Concerned supporters first alerted us that foxes that had begun to enter the Dungeness nuclear power plant site in Kent were at risk of being trapped and killed. EDF Energy, one one of largest energy companies in the UK, operates the plant and adopted these measures in line with official guidelines. We set out to help EDF find non-violent alternatives and are thrilled to say we succeeded.
PNP’s Founder and Chief Executive, Dr Barbara Maas is an expert in fox behaviour and shared much of her life with foxes in both Europe and Africa. She was therefore eager to do anything in her power to save the foxes at the Dungeness power plant.
Initial phone calls were encouraging. Right from the start, the EDF team at Dungeness was willing to embrace non-lethal solutions to discourage several fox families from venturing onto their site. As a much-appreciated sign of their commitment, the plant’s management immediately halted all trapping. This was the best possible start towards finding an effective solution that kept both the foxes and the power station safe.
Killing the 12 - 15 foxes that visited the site would not have solved EDF's security concrens, because new foxes would begin to occupy the newly vacated territories. This is the same wherever this unfortunate and ineffective form of fox control is used. Fortunately, there are far better alternatives to this never ending cycle of bloodshed.
Barbara reached out to Kevin Newell from Humane Wildlife Solutions who kindly provided his exceptional expertise in resolving fox-related issues non-violently. Further constructive dialogue with EDF followed and a non-lethal way forward was developed and agreed. The new plan, which was adopted as policy for the EDF Dungeness site, involved working with rather than against the foxes’ natural behaviour. In addition effective electronic deterrents were fitted to the site's gates.
A spokesman for EDF said "EDF is delighted to have worked with the team at People for Nature & Peace and Humane Wildlife Solutions to resolve the issue at Dungeness. The expert assistance they provided was most helpful and gave us some clear guidance to humanely resolve the issue with our foxes. We agreed to keep in touch with them in the future to resolve any other similar issues and are extremely grateful for their understanding.”
Like the rest of PNP's team, our Founder and CEO Dr Barbara Maas is thrilled with the result. “The more time I spent with foxes, the more I respected and cared about these intelligent and beautiful wild animals that are so often vilified and persecuted. Getting to understand them as a species and as individuals, your heart can't help but go out to them and their kind. The situation at Dungeness was resolved quickly and easily, because the plant’s management was genuinely open and willing to embrace a kinder and better way forward. I am grateful to them for doing so and hope that other businesses too will adopt this positive and constructive approach, so that wild animals can be safe and protected.”
The Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent
"The fox situation at Dungeness was resolved quickly and easily, because the plant’s management was genuinely open and willing to embrace a kinder and better way forward."
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