In the Summer of 2018 hundreds of families set out across the Cotswold area in search of some incredibly beautiful Hare sculptures. They all formed a part of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty trail. Businesses such as Gloucester Estate Agents and law firms as well as schools across the county designed the artwork for a number of Hares that were then located around the Cotswold region for individuals and families to find. A map of the locations and a passport of each of the hares was available to download and print to help you on your search.
The original concept was established in 2013 by Florence Beetlestone who get up a festival for the Cirencester Community Development Trust that lasted a total of six months. Then in March of 2014 the Cirencester March Hare Festival took place as a way to celebrate the links between Cirencester and the hare mosaic dating back to roman times that can be seen in the Corinium Museum. At the end of the festival each of the hares were auctioned off with the money raised being donation to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
Again in 2015 the Cirencester March Hare Festival took place with local artists designing the style of the leverets that were placed around the town. Just a year later children from Watermoor school decorated 6 inch hares that were then placed in local shops and businesses as a way to keep the festival alive in the local community. In 2017 the trail was expanded to cover the whole of the Cotswolds region with 80 hares and 22 leverets being placed in locations such as Broadway, Gloucester and Cheltenham. As is standard at the end of each year the hares and leverets were all auctioned off this time in aid of the National Star College. As this trail was such as success in 2018 the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty partnered the program.
The hares were located in a number of popular town and city destinations such as the Gloucester Quays as well as historic sites such as Chedworth Roman Villa and beauty spots within the Cotswold region. Each year more and more people enjoy travelling around the region in hunt of some of these beautifully designed hares and leverets. We will have to wait and see whether the trail will take place again this year and what the designs and locations will be.