A litter of fox cubs emerging from their den in Delgany, Wicklow. Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times Given that we seem to either love them or loathe them, let me start with the declaration that when it comes to foxes, I belong firmly to the first camp. Say what you will, I’ve always admired their insouciant, swashbuckling ways, their graceful half-cat, half-dog mannerisms, their impressive ability to adapt and thrive. I even like the musky, salty scent they leave in their wake, the fox’s way of demarcating its territory. Totems of a wild otherworld with whom we struggle to make peace, they are clever, resourceful, inquisitive animals that bring a whiff of magic to our gardens. Which is not to say that I don’t have sympathy for gardeners whose lawns, flower beds and compost heaps are damaged regularly by visiting or resident foxes digging them up overnight, either in search of earthworms, insects and larvae to eat or as a way to bury (or cache as it’s known) a glut of food for later use. It’s unpleasant to discover the rotting remains of a half-eaten rabbit interred in your cabbage patch, or find your plants flattened, your garden shed chewed. Similarly, much as I like tha...