Gemma Hastilo & Fenella Forage Hare

Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail

Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail

Once again everybody’s favourite five-foot furry friends will be springing through the Cotswolds  this summer when the fifth annual Cotswold Hare Trail gets underway 22 May – 9 Sep.

Winchcombe is really proud that our very own Winchcombe artist, Gemma Hastiloe has been chosen to take part this year.  Gemma’s beautiful Hare, Fenella Forage,  will be on show at Cotswold Farm Park throughout the summer. Fennella Forage-Hare has been lovingly and painstakingly decorated to feature wild food freely available in the hedgerows, fields and gardens of Gloucestershire. All of the plants, fruit and fungi (and even some of the animals!) depicted on Fennella can be eaten.

There will be 60 5′ feet tall hares dotted around the Cotswolds from the end of May onwards. They will be auctioned for charity in September. Gemma’s design will be informative and based on the landscape to fit in with this year’s theme.

This year sees an exciting new partnership with The Cotswolds Conservation Board to help conserve and enhance the special qualities of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Organisers are encouraging everyone from art aficionados and nature lovers to social media snappers to explore new attractions, hidden hills and valleys, quiet corners and busy market towns along the trail.Plus, for the first time in 2018, the trail will branch out from as far as Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath to the Forest of Dean and almost Oxford; giving thousands more an opportunity to marvel at the March hares along a variety of routes designed for those travelling in cars and public transport, by bike or on foot.

As in previous years, scores of spring hare sculptures and leverets will be sponsored by local businesses, attractions, schools, colleges and community groups, and decorated by inspired local artists, before being dotted throughout the Cotswolds in a unique art installation for all to enjoy for almost four and a half months.

At the end of the trail, the sculptures will be gathered in for a public Farewell to the Hares event, before being auctioned off to raise money for the Cotswolds AONB.

Festival founder and director, Florence Beetlestone, said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Cotswolds AONB on the Cotswold Hare Trail 2018. Last year our 104 hares and leverets raised over £60,000 at auction, and we know this year’s trail will be even bigger, and we hope to raise even more money to fund two key Cotswolds AONB conservation initiatives.

Liz Eyre, chairman of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, added: “The Cotswolds Conservation Board is delighted to be supporting this year’s Cotswolds Hare Trail, giving the board an opportunity to increase greater awareness and understanding of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

“The hares will be located in towns and villages across the 790 square miles of England’s third largest protected landscape.

“Funds generated from the hares auction at the end of the trail will support the AONB’s Caring for the Cotswolds visitor giving scheme and Glorious Cotswold Grasslands; delivering a unique and tailored project to transform the fortunes of our wonderful flower rich grasslands.”

To find out more about Gemma

To find out more about the Cotswols AONB Hare Trail


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