Animals

By James Speakman


Stunning images have captured a picture-perfect spring evening as fox cubs play amongst a blanket of bluebells.

The adorable cubs, thought to be about four weeks old, were snapped playfighting and frolicking in the flowers near Stourbridge, West Midlands.

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Photographer Ian Howells, 38, had spotted the fox set and markings a few days earlier and returned last week in the hope of getting pictures of some cubs.

Ian, from Cwmbran, South Wales, said: “It was a perfect spring scene with a full blanket of bluebells.

“It was at about 6.30pm, one of the cubs came out and quickly returned to the den so I waited for another hour then they started to get brave.

“There were four of them playfighting and pulling up tree branches and rolling in the bluebells. It was amazing.

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“They were out there for about 20 minutes before I heard a screech – their mum calling – and they shot back down the hole into the den.

“They’re beautiful animals – so charismatic and sleek.

“They’re a creature of the night so it’s not often you get to see them out playing in daylight. I felt very fortunate.”

The company director has been taking pictures for about five years.

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The dad-of-one added: “I used to be a fisherman and found I was taking lots of pictures from the bank. I got my first proper camera five years ago.

“It’s the wildlife I like. I love being able to see things that you don’t often get to see. I’m out about four nights a week taking pictures – I’d be out every night if I could.”