BOURNEMOUTH has been revealed as the urban fox capital of Great Britain.

The town has more of the creatures per square kilometre than any other urban area.

And the numbers - 23 per sq km - mean the resort has a higher concentration of foxes than the countryside.

Foxes are regularly seen across the town, particularly early in the morning when they have been sleeping in gardens and porches.

They have become increasingly bold and rarely run away when they come into contact with people.

A new study revealed the number of foxes in UK towns and cities is around 150,000, equivalent to one per 300 people.

It was carried out by scientists from Brighton and Reading universities.

Mammalian biologist Dawn Scott and behavioural zoologist Phil Baker asked members of the public to report sightings of urban foxes in July and August from 2013-2015.

They were surprised to discover the steep increase in urban areas which has happened at the same time as a decline in the countryside.

And they believe Bournemouth's leafy suburban gardens, as well as the sentimentality of the people living in the area, could explain the rise.

The town has a considerably higher number than other areas at 23 per sq km with London next at 18, Bristol in third with 16, followed by Newcastle with 10.

Fox expert Philip Stephens said: "Housing types and the suburban structure in Bournemouth night be slightly more suitable than the areas we surveyed in London to support higher fox numbers."

Two years ago Bournemouth councillor Michael Weinhonig called on the public to stop feeding foxes and pigeons to reduce the numbers in the town.

He said they were causing problems with litter and added: "We should perhaps educate residents not to feed them."