Brown Hare - Lepus europaeus

Alternative names

It is larger, longer-eared and longer-legged than a Rabbit with a body length of 50-70 cm.

Identification difficulty

Fields and open countryside.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

It breeds on the ground rather than in a burrow and relies on speed to escape. Normally shy animals; hares change their behaviour in spring, when they can be seen in broad daylight chasing one another around meadows. During this spring frenzy, Hares can be seen "boxing". This is when Hares strike one another with their paws. For a long time it had been thought that this was inter-male competition but closer observation has revealed that it is usually a female hitting a male, either to show that she is not yet quite ready to mate or as a test of his determination.

UK Status

Less common now, than previously, probably due to changes in land use. It remains widespread in lowland Britain, but scarce in the Highlands.

VC55 Status

Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map