Close up shot of a brown hair resting in long grass.
Brown Hare
Scientific Name:
Lepus europaeus
A golden brown mammal with distinctive long ears with black tips. The legs are long and powerful and they have white tails.
Up to 70cm in length and up to 5kg in weight.
Preferred habitats:
Woodland edges and grassland.
Grasses, herbs, cereal crops and the bark of young trees.
2-4 years.


Breeding takes place between February and September. Typical litters are often two to four leverets in size. A female can rear up to four litters a year.


Where do they live in the Forest?

Along the woodland edges and in the mown rides. In spring the leverets can be found hidden away in longer grass.


Natural predators

Foxes and birds of prey.


Spotting tips

Most likely spotted in March and April when the onset of the breeding season causes the adults to box one another.


Not to be confused with

Rabbits. Hares are larger than a rabbit with proportionally longer ears and back legs.


Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Hares are listed as a priority species on the UK Biodiversity Framework.


How you can help

One of the biggest threats to Brown Hares is the loss of mixed habitat through the intensification of agriculture. One way you could help is to become a Friend of the Forest and support our work creating and maintaining habitats for wildlife.