Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales - The story of one of the Peak District's most enigmatic mammals

Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales - The story of one of the Peak District's most enigmatic mammals

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Christine Gregory

Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales is a written and photographic celebration of one of the Peak District’s most secretive and enigmatic animals. Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated with over 100 colour photographs, this book gives a unique insight into the life, habitat and history of a much loved, yet threatened, species.

First published in 2010 to coincide with the International Year of Biodiversity, this new edition – with more than 60 new photos – is intended to raise awareness of the brown hare (Lepus europaeus), which is now extinct in parts of Britain and listed as a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

The book is split into two sections; the first describes the brown hare, what differentiates them from rabbits and other hares, their breeding patterns, courtship, boxing, their remarkable speed and agility, their habitat, what they eat, and their history in the UK and the Derbyshire Dales. There are also tips on where and how to see hares in the wild.

The second section, biodiversity, sets the hare in the context of the rapid and extensive loss of their preferred natural habitat, primarily wildflower meadows and traditional grasslands, now almost eradicated by intensive farming systems in some areas. Balanced yet thought-provoking reflections on these modern farming methods are supplemented by accounts from local farmers, including Lord Edward Manners of Haddon Hall, interviewed especially for the book by the author.