Brown Hare

Lepus europaeus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Mammals
  3. Brown Hare


Brown Hares graze on vegetation and nibble bark from young trees and bushes. Hares shelter in a 'form', which is simply a shallow depression in the ground or grasses, but when disturbed, can be seen bounding across fields using their powerful hind legs to propel them forwards, often in a zigzag pattern. They are commonest in grassland and at woodland edges. In early spring, Brown Hares are at their most visible as the breeding season encourages fighting or 'boxing'.

How to identify

Hares are a golden-brown colour, with a pale belly and a white tail. The Brown Hare is larger than the Rabbit, with longer legs and longer ears with black tips.

Where to find it

Widespread, found throughout England and Wales, but absent from northern Scotland and the Scottish Islands.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The once common Brown Hare has seen a dramatic decline in numbers due to changing agricultural practices affecting its favoured grassland habitats. Shooting and coursing have also had an impact on it. Working with farmers and landowners to ensure wildlife-friendly practices, The Wildlife Trusts are working towards a Living Landscape: a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Brown Hare
Latin name
Lepus europaeus
Length: 70cm Weight: 4kg Average lifespan: 4 years
Conservation status
Classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.