Mas as March hares

March is the middle of the brown hare breeding season and, at such a time, they tend to go a bit dippy  with males and females cavorting around the large open grasslands they tend to favour as habitat. If a female is disinterested in the male’s advances, for any number of reasons, she will confront his amorous overtures by turning back to face him and batting him away with the forepaws while resting on the rear legs. This is known as boxing as was for a long time erroneously thought to be competitive behaviour between males.

They are notorious also for their turn of pace and can reach speeds of up to 40 mph in a straight sprint. As this is their prime method of avoiding predation, hares opt for open grassy habitats with few hedgerows, which makes Devon less ideal than other counties. The young, known as leverets, are born throughout the spring and summer, depending upon when mating occurred, and lie still in a shallow scrape in the grass known as a “form”.