The Little Urban Fox visits the Marnock Gardens and finds Stumpy

The Marnock Gardens

Robert Marnock was a gardener at Bretton Hall, Yorkshire in 1834 when he won a competition to design the Sheffield Botanic Garden. In 1840, he again won a competition for the design of a garden for the Royal Botanic Society in Regent’s Park, London, where he became curator until 1862.

The Marnock Garden was donated to the Botanical Gardens in 1944 by Sir Samuel Osborn and used initially for the growing of vegetables.

In November 2008, a stainless steel sculpture of a giant leaf cutter ant, known as Anthea, created by sculptor Johnny White, was placed in the Marnock Garden. The spikes are made from rejected hip joints, which were found in a scrap yard in the Attercliffe area of Sheffield.


The winner of our competition, Susan Sancho, wrote the story about how Stumpy lost his tail:

There once was a fox called Stumpy who was far more adventurous than the rest.
He could climb the highest rock. He could fit through the smallest gap and avoid
every trap.
One day Stumpy climbed out of his den and ran off into the sun baked horizon.
Forgetting all he had been told about staying out of sight, staying safe in the den.
He jumped up a rock face, and another, and another. Suddenly, he heard an
unfamiliar sound. He looked up, and as quick as a flash a falling rock plummeted,
sinking deep into his warm bushy tail. Trapped, he was unable to move, until dawn
when more rocks fell and shooed the razor sharp rock away.
He went home leaving his crimson bushy tail behind, nothing left to keep his wet,
shiny nose warm. “I am sorry for not listening!” He said to his mum.
“Don’t worry, we all make mistakes, learning from them makes us who we are.
We’re all wonderful and magnificently different in our own way.
Now Stumpy, please remember to be careful in your next adventure.”