Beacon Foxes – wildlife cameraman encounters

Beacon Foxes

The first programme in ‘Iolo’s Brecon Beacons’ will be aired next Monday.  Over the course of the year we had a couple of encounters with foxes.  Hill foxes are wily creatures. They have to be as they are one of the most persecuted wild animals in Britain.  I don’t think Beacon foxes are any less wily.


One day last winter turned out to be quite amusing.   We were filming in the area around the Upper Neuadd Reservoir.  A great grey shrike had been somewhere in the area, but it was proving to be quite elusive. That aside, reservoirs are an important and prominent feature of the Brecon Beacons.  Our aim was to film a piece about a reservoir with the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, Pen Y Fan, in the background.  We approached the location along a track in a Landrover, assembled all of the equipment and walked the last few hundred yards.

When we rounded the dam wall the mist was so thick that there was no view of Pan y Fan at all: it was invisible.  Add to that the fact that there was no water in the reservoir, and  both essential ingredients of ‘reservoir with mountain behind’ had been removed.  It’s enough to make the most mild mannered director explode.  Weather is one thing, but not being informed that essential works on the dam had necessitated the draining of the reservoir is another.

Clips from the ‘Iolo’s Brecon Beacons’ series.

We were quite close to a wasted few hours until one of the crew spotted something moving out in the snowy mess that was the bottom of the reservoir.  There were three foxes out in the barren area of rocks and mud.  One was a large dog fox with a lot of black in its pelt.  Although a long way away we were able to film it checking us out and walking with great difficulty through the snow and boggy ground. Seeing a fox in broad daylight in winter was a treat, but eventually their natural suspicion got the better of them, and they drifted away.