Mad as a March hare

Last week the volunteers and I began the long trudge out to Flanders Moss from Easter Poldar, tools in hand, when we spotted a flash of brown on a surrounding field – hares! There was a group of four running around like crazy, playing and chasing each other. It was some great wildlife watching as they were particularly easy to see on the short grass. In fact this is the best time of year to spot hares on the agricultural fields around Flanders Moss as the crops are low and the hares are full of beans! This area is perfect for hares as there is plenty of food for them in the fields and they can take cover and hide in the vegetation on the Moss.

But why are hares so active at this time of year? They are usually solitary mammals but around March and April they hang around in groups throughout the breeding season. A lot of the play fighting and boxing observed are the females fighting off overly keen males or maybe even males are testing the female’s strength before mating with her. This group were particularly energetic and one of them was even running back and forth across the field at great speed. They can actually reach up to 45mph when running making them Britain’s fastest land mammal!

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