Monday, 25 March 2013

Brown hares

Brown hare

I ran a course today for the Sussex Wildlife Trust on the brown hare. As always, there was a great mixture of people of all ages and background attending – a couple of ecologists, two others who wanted to work in conservation, a few retired folk, a forensic psychologist and a number of people who just loved hares and wanted to learn more about them! (What better reason do you need!!) There was also one lady who loved to do stitch work and she had come along to learn more about hares so that she could improve her work. It is interesting how many painters, sculptors, carvers and photographers come along to courses on hares – they are obviously wonderful creatures to inspire creativity. Entertainingly, the course was actually held in a painter’s studio this time, with a scattering of paintings depicting nudes freely dotted across the walls, which meant I had to be on particularly good form if I was to keep the full attention of the guys in the audience!
After lunch we went up onto the South Downs to see if we could spot a hare or two and to discuss further the habitat requirements that they need to flourish. Charlie, the head keeper on the estate joined us and I think everyone really enjoyed tapping into his extensive knowledge. They also told me that they were fascinated by the work he does for the Grey partridge on this wild game bird estate and how that in turn benefits so much of the other farmland wildlife, including hares. However, as it was only one degree above freezing and a strong easterly wind was making its presence felt, we did not linger for too long. The hares too were sensibly keeping a very low profile – not one was spotted!!
If you want more information on brown hares, contact the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust 

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