Welcome to the Brown Hare Project

The Brown Hare Project - Jan 2017 - Dec 2018

The Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) is one of the most iconic symbols of the English countryside.

Between 1991-1993 a national survey was undertaken which estimated the winter population to be 817,000 +/- 137,000 (though some people have disputed these numbers). It also showed that the stronghold for hares in England were in the eastern counties, including Bedfordshire.

A survey was carried out in Bedfordshire by the Wildlife Trust between 1996 – 1998 which showed an extensive, though patchy distribution of hares throughout  the county.  All further records which have  been obtained since then & these are held by the Biodiversity Recording & Monitoring Centre

It was noticed that hares were no longer being seen in places where they have been found in the past. The Bedfordshire mammal group therefore decided to undertake a survey to establish whether or not their range had diminished.

The survey ran from Jan 2017 until the end of Dec 2018 to enable maximum coverage of the county (any records already obtained in 2017 can be included).


The methodology :

  1. Visiting sites where hares have been recorded in the past ( either from personal experience or from the records collected in the original survey)

  2. Recording positive sightings or negative ones on the form which we have produced

  3. Submitting your record on this page.

Results:Coming Soon.... 

Any further hare sightings can still be recorded to the Adnoto system to continue helping us to monitor the Bedfordshire Brown Hare population in the long term. 

Identifying Brown Hares Correctly 

Size: head - tail approx 600-800mm. 
Colour: orange brown
Ears: black tips
Eyes: yellow golden
Tail: black on top, white underneath. Visible away from body when running. 
Legs: Long, powerful and thin. 
Droppings: 15-20mm diameter, light brown in winter, almost black in summer. 
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