Hares

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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,224
4,565
Mid Wales
I commented about watching a hare on the track in our wood in the 'Good Stuff of the Day' yesterday and how it lifted my spirits. Rather than chat off-topic on that thread I thought I'd start a new one.

We only live about ten miles from Pennant Melangell and the legend of the hare (worth a quick read) and I find hares fascinating; there's definitely something magical about them. Unfortunately though, we see very few here now. Twenty years ago we'd see them in the fields around the house regularly but the grass is cut too early now for them to breed.

I'd be interested to know the experience of others over the past ten or twenty years - for example we used to see loads down in Hamshire; are they still there? The last time I saw any in real numbers was on Tiree.

I've been in the process of doing a large hare drawing for quite a while now; I suddenly feel the urge to get on with it :)

Cheers,
Broch
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,122
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SE Wales
I too think they are a magical creature. My experience of them is around Monmouthshire and South Herefordshire, where we used to see them all the time. Over the past decade or more they have become an increasingly rare animal to spot; I know a few spots where I can go and be fairly sure of seeing them, but it used to be a frequent thing to see them, and much more widespread in their distribution, too.

Twenty years ago they were abundant enough that we'd take one now and then for the pot, but nobody I know would dream of killing one now because of their rarity. I think you're right in that it's a habitat/breeding problem, grass cut too early and increasingly cut very late as well, folks around this way have been taking three cuts a year for hay and sometimes four for silage. Perhaps if seasonal changes in the weather patterns
changed back to more like what we used to have things might change, but I'm not holding my breath on that one :frown:
 

daveO

Full Member
Jun 22, 2009
1,404
464
South Wales
Have you read The Running Hare by John Lewis Stempel? It's a great book set on the Hereford/Monmouthshire border and has a lot of info about breeding patterns and farming methods. I've seen a few hares around that way but I can probably count the ones I've seen in the past few years on one hand. I'm amazed that they're still hunted at all now given how low the numbers have got.

I have a dream that one day the Welsh hills will have better management and we can get hares breeding well enough up there to be able to have eagles back again. :goodluck:
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,224
4,565
Mid Wales
I have a dream that one day the Welsh hills will have better management and we can get hares breeding well enough up there to be able to have eagles back again. :goodluck:

Until then I've got rabbits and buzzards :) but I'll be thankful for that.

I last shot a hare well over 25 years ago. I can remember getting it on the table to skin and gut and looking at this beautiful quite big wild beast I felt nothing but remorse; I'll probably never shoot another one again.

I'll look up The Running Hare; sounds good.
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,122
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SE Wales
I haven't read that book, but I will now, thanks for the tip :)

If you were known to hunt hares anywhere near here you wouldn't do it a second time; everybody bemoans their demise, even the 'naughty' boys protect and watch out for them and you'd be taught a hard lesson for harming them in any way. A good thing, but why so late? you have to ask yourself......a classic case of you don't appreciate what you have 'till you don't have it, I suppose.
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,122
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SE Wales
Just bought the Lewis-Stempel book on the 'bay for £6, so looking forward to a good read at the weekend; thanks again for the heads up :)
 
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Sundowner

Full Member
Jan 21, 2013
882
339
67
Northumberland
I commented about watching a hare on the track in our wood in the 'Good Stuff of the Day' yesterday and how it lifted my spirits. Rather than chat off-topic on that thread I thought I'd start a new one.

We only live about ten miles from Pennant Melangell and the legend of the hare (worth a quick read) and I find hares fascinating; there's definitely something magical about them. Unfortunately though, we see very few here now. Twenty years ago we'd see them in the fields around the house regularly but the grass is cut too early now for them to breed.

I'd be interested to know the experience of others over the past ten or twenty years - for example we used to see loads down in Hamshire; are they still there? The last time I saw any in real numbers was on Tiree.

I've been in the process of doing a large hare drawing for quite a while now; I suddenly feel the urge to get on with it :)

Cheers,
Broch

Come up here to Northumberland. On my 1 and 1/2mile walk (there and back) i see about 2 of them nearly every time and sometimes 3, 4 or even 5. Our village farmer doesn't want them shot so there's plenty about. Best walk about two months ago was 3 hares, 3 buzzards and 3 roe deer. I always wonder why hares come toward you at times. Like they're going to attack you. And at the right time of the year I watched their boxing matches the next field over from our house
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,224
4,565
Mid Wales
Come up here to Northumberland. On my 1 and 1/2mile walk (there and back) i see about 2 of them nearly every time and sometimes 3, 4 or even 5. Our village farmer doesn't want them shot so there's plenty about. Best walk about two months ago was 3 hares, 3 buzzards and 3 roe deer. I always wonder why hares come toward you at times. Like they're going to attack you. And at the right time of the year I watched their boxing matches the next field over from our house

If that's an invite I may take you up on it ;)
seriously though, that's good to hear.
 

Yeoman13

Member
Nov 29, 2017
31
11
49
Canada
I don't know if hare in the UK are like hare here, but ours go through an 11 year population cycle of bloom and contraction. Perhaps yours do too?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Gaudette

Full Member
Aug 24, 2012
872
17
Cambs
This might be a contentious post but this is the result of the ill informed decision to ban hare coursing. Putting alongside the rights and wrongs of Hare Coursing there is no doubt that farmland was prepared and the hare population managed to ensure high numbers of a healthy hare population. We have seen a terrible decline in the numbers around our area and they are now indeed sadly a rare sight.
 

Sundowner

Full Member
Jan 21, 2013
882
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Northumberland
This might be a contentious post but this is the result of the ill informed decision to ban hare coursing. Putting alongside the rights and wrongs of Hare Coursing there is no doubt that farmland was prepared and the hare population managed to ensure high numbers of a healthy hare population. We have seen a terrible decline in the numbers around our area and they are now indeed sadly a rare sight.

Not up here. More than ever before. Probably due to banning hare coursing and the farmers expressed wish NOT to shoot them.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,224
4,565
Mid Wales
This might be a contentious post but this is the result of the ill informed decision to ban hare coursing. Putting alongside the rights and wrongs of Hare Coursing there is no doubt that farmland was prepared and the hare population managed to ensure high numbers of a healthy hare population. We have seen a terrible decline in the numbers around our area and they are now indeed sadly a rare sight.

Not around here; there never was hare coursing here - the terrain is too difficult for one thing. The only thing that has changed is the farming habit of collecting crops off the grass over a much longer season for silage. For the same reason we no longer get curlews nesting here and few barn owls (which need longer grass to hunt over).
 
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Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,122
278
71
SE Wales
Never any coursing anywhere near here, either; it's habitat pure and simple. The situation may be different over there by Lincolnshire, Cambs., and the flatlands of the East of England where there are huge expanses of open and level ground for pairs of Greyhounds to run Hares, but that's not how it is in most of the UK.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,774
2,678
S. Lanarkshire
I've been banned from buying books before Christmas - so I've put it on the list :)

Oh me too :sigh: and I keep seeing good ones. I think I'll write them a list and they can pick.

On the hares though; I passed the harefield yesterday, and I'm sure there was a set of cocked lugs sticking up. I was driving though, and didn't have a chance to stop, so it might just be wishful thinking, but it would be lovely to know they were there again.
Himself says they are down the woodlands alongside the golf course though.

M
 

Allans865

Full Member
Nov 17, 2016
402
137
East Kilbride
There's a couple of hares around a certain area of my work up here in Shetland, and they've been here for a few years now.

It's always a pleasant surprise to catch a glimpse of them, especially in the winter when they turn white to blend in with the snow

Thanks
Allan

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Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,527
813
48
Wiltshire
Im told there were a lot of hares on the dunes here once but not any more.

Do they compete with rabbits?

I last saw a hare on the Isle of Man in March. Field of horses behind out cottage.

And the hare was always present...mostly slobbed out. No hare action for us, we hardly ever saw them on their feet.
 

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