Top spots to see hares

One of the great sights of spring is the so-called ‘mad March hare’. These usually shy and reclusive creatures can be spotted ‘boxing’ in open fields throughout the mating season. Rather than competition between males, this behaviour is actually females fending off unwanted males.

Hare in Camp Ground at Charlecote Park

Charlecote Park, Warwickshire

Head to the Camp Ground at Charlecote to see if you can spot the resident drove of hares. They might look like rabbits, but they’re much larger and faster - with their long back legs they can reach speeds of 45km per hour. Keep those binoculars handy during your visit – you can often see them from the parterre, particularly in the spring.

mountain hare sitting on snow, Dark Peak, Derbyshire

Dark Peak Moors, Derbyshire

The Dark Peak moors are a great spot for mountain hares. These are hardy creatures, adapted for the tough moorland conditions. They’re shy and nocturnal, so your best chance of spotting them is on an early morning walk or under a dusk sunset.

Hare among grass and thistles

Divis and the Black Mountain, County Down

Although populations in Northern Ireland have declined substantially in recent years, Irish hares can still be found at Black Mountain and Divis near Belfast, where the mix of rush pasture, meadows and heather make up a habitat that provides them food and cover all year round.

Carving of a hare at Hare Hill

Hare Hill, Cheshire

Whilst the garden may be called Hare Hill, the hares themselves are shy creatures. If you’re lucky you may spot one during your visit, but if not there are several carvings of hares for you to find throughout the garden.

Hare hiding in a nest of grass

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

The north side of the lake, known as the wilderness, is the most natural part of Kedleston's parkland. It’s the perfect place to spot birds such as owls and woodpeckers, and maybe even an elusive hare or two.

Hare lying in grass

Lyme Park, Cheshire

The open spaces of Lyme Park are perfect hare-spotting territory during early spring. You can head up to The Cage, a hill-top hunting lodge with great views across the park, to see them ‘boxing’ and racing and chasing one another.

A mountain hare shelters in a burrow

Marsden Moor, North Yorkshire

We care for over 5,500 acres of unenclosed moorland at Marsden. Although it can look bleak and inhospitable, the landscape harbours a vast diversity of birds, mammals and insects. If you’re very lucky you might spot one of the shy mountain hares that call the moor home.

Hare on the roard at Orford Ness

Orford Ness, Suffolk

Scattered across the Ness are the resident population of brown hares. Keep an eye on the vegetated ridges, and you may well spot a sudden lolloping movement as the one of them explores their surroundings. They’re even easier to spot in spring as the males and females take to ‘boxing’ at each other during courtship.

Three leverets (baby hares) in a flowerbed at Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield, nr Bristol

The team at Tyntesfield take great care of habitats on the estate, which support a whole host of wildlife from bats to fungi. There are also hares living here, and in 2016 the team even found three leverets (baby hares) taking shelter in a flowerbed.

View over White Horse Hill, Uffington

White Horse Hill, Oxfordshire

White Horse Hill is rich with wildlife, and birds of prey such as red kites and kestrels are a common sight. If you’re lucky you might even spot one of the resident hares – they’re best seen in March when they begin competing for mates.

Hare eating grass, Orford Ness

Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

Wimpole has an abundant population of brown hares due to its mix of different grasslands, lots of arable land and woodland for shelter from predators and the elements. Why not pay a visit and see how many you can spot?

Walkers at Ravenscar admire the view over Robin Hood's Bay

Yorkshire Coast

The Yorkshire wolds and coastline are a stronghold for brown hares in the north. They’re fairly shy creatures, but you can try to track them by looking out for tufts of fur caught in brambles and fences.