Amongst the limestone walls, hawking Swallows and awakening hay meadows of Hill Top Farm at Malham, a Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) watches over the landscape.
Being largely nocturnal, Brown Hares usually rest up during the day from a good vantage point, or concealed amongst vegetation. Their eyes are set high on the sides of their heads, giving them 360 vision, to watch out for predators, and ambling humans.
Adapted to wide open steppe grasslands of central Europe, the Brown Hare is perfectly suited to this farmed limestone landscape. There are no records of Brown Hares in the UK before the Romans arrived, so it’s thought they were introduced during these times, with our only native hare being the Mountain Hare.
As with many species in the UK, the Brown Hare has suffered from human persecution and modern farming practices, with many of it’s known sites now lost. Farms like Hill Top Farm, with traditional, regenerative farming methods, woodland and wildlife corridors provide a lifeline for this fascinating species to thrive.