Slow Cotswolds

  • In search of a Cotswold hare - the Cotswold Hare Trail

    Giant hares are about to leap across the Cotswolds and hare into more than 20 towns and villages across the region. From 25th March, eighty 5ft sculptures will be in place, nestling in hotel lobbies, tucked into shop doorways or proudly taking centre stage on town High Streets.

    The hares have been decorated by amateur and professional artists, including schools and community groups. All lovingly designed and crafted, they are unique works of art. All 80 hares have been placed to form a trail for 'harers' to follow until 10th September. Festival Director Florence Beetlestone, who previously ran the Cirencester March Hare Festival, explains, "We want to encourage people to explore all the delightful corners of the Cotswolds and to use public transport, walk and cycle the route wherever possible."

    The Trail Festival has been designed to promote local businesses through tourism and to showcase the wonderful artisitic talents of the many creative people living in the Cotswold area. It gives towns and villages a fantastic opportunity to showcase their businesses, their heritage and culture with individual trails of small hare sculptures 'leverets' plus linked hare themed activities and events.

    'Harers' are asked to record their sitings of each hare by uploading selfies to social media. There will be prize events for people to enter. It will be a challenge to find all the hares but to help, a Trail map has been divided into four locales with suggested links in each section. The Festival website contains a map of the Cotswolds, showing the towns where the hares are located and the number in each town. Linked town maps will show further details. These will be regularly updated in case any new or travelling hares leap on board over the six month Festival period.

    In October the hares will be auctioned with net profitis going to National Star (see pages158-9 of Slow Travel: The Cotswolds for more details about this wonderful organisation) and to local historical projects such as museums.

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