Brown Hare ecology

Brown Hare population

Advice for farmers

Latest Report published!

We have completed the Latest Report for the project which analyses all the hard work and contibution of volunteers across the region. You can download the report from the documents page.

Hare conservation and recording

Ruddy Darter© Marlene Thyssen (Wiki Commons)
Brown Hare in full flight.

The North West Brown Hare Project is a joint venture of the biodiversity partnerships for Lancashire, Greater Manchester and North Merseyside.

Our aim is to gain a better understanding of hare populations in the North West and highlight areas to target for habitat management, to increase connectivity between populations and improve habitats for brown hare, as well as farmland birds.

Part of the habitat management will include the planting of hedgerows and hedge trees, as well as providing advice and guidance to landowners on the best way to manage their land for brown hare.

This website will give you information on our hares and show you ways in which you can contribute to their conservation - particularly by reporting sightings of them. Open quotes Every single well-recorded sighting of a hare is a valuable step in furthering efforts to conserve these animals Close quotes Every single well-recorded sighting of a hare is a valuable step in furthering efforts to conserve these animals . We need good information on their whereabouts and populations in order to develop and target sound conservation actions.

Declining populations

Although still a relatively common species, Open quotesthe Brown Hare suffered a dramatic population decline in the first part of the 20th centuryClose quotesthe Brown Hare suffered a dramatic population decline in the first part of the 20th century. A post-war increase in numbers was followed by another severe decline between the 1960s and 1980s. There are now believed to be around one million Brown Hares nationally - approximately 20% of the population in the Victorian era. The decline appears to have been faster and more severe in western pastoral regions of the country such as ours. (More information on population.)

A conservation priority in Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside

Because of the decline in numbers, particularly in areas like ours, action plans for Brown Hare are incorporated into each of the three Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs) for Lancashire, Greater Manchester and North Merseyside - the plans which set conservation priorities in our area. Open quotesOne of the greatest barriers to successful conservation of any species is a lack of knowledge on distribution and abundanceClose quotesOne of the greatest barriers to successful conservation of any species is a lack of knowledge on distribution and abundance and this is as true for Brown Hare as any other species. All three LBAPs recognise this lack for information and all have set targets and/or actions to increase our knowledge of their numbers and whereabouts.

This website will bring together information on all the ways in which you can help to locate and count hares in our area. Read on to find out how you can help.

SITA logo PTES logo Tree Council logo BioBank logo GMEU logo LERN logo