Riding back from Park Run this morning, feeling pretty pleased with myself at getting a personal best (out of only two outings, but hey), my mood was ruined by the sight of a dead hare, right at the corner opposite our gate.

roadkilled hare

Seriously, who would get enough speed on this road to run over anything, let alone a hare?

Roadkilled hare isn’t that unusual around here – although generally they have the advantage over, say, rabbits and pheasants through their uncanny ability to run away from a car rather than towards it. But our road is tiny; it’s a dead end that serves six houses and a couple of farms, and you’d be hard pressed to drive faster than the average hare can run even if it’s not trying very hard – mostly they just lope along with no apparent effort at a good 20mph, so very much not like me at Park Run. I can only assume that someone was doing a three-point turn and the hare decided to sit tight on the verge, or else that some piece of farm machinery caught it somehow – the average tractor is a pretty tight fit on most of our roads these days.

Over the three years we’ve been here we’ve seen so many wee hares grow up into bigger hares, and then get replaced by a new wee hare. Some of them have had a distinctive appearance, they appear to have different personalities (being more or less chilled about people in the garden) and they all seem to have different taste in garden plants, and choose different hiding places to hang out (indeed, the latest one has been rather too fond of hiding under our car, so I hope that hasn’t lulled it into a false sense of security when it comes to motor vehicles). Our neighbours report the same – in fact, it was only yesterday that I was chatting to a neighbour about it and we were congratulating ourselves on what a hare-friendly neighbourhood we live in. They come, they stay a while, and then they go, and I’ve always fondly imagined them fanning out across the countryside until they’ve got wee hares of their own and then bringing them back to a place where they remember being safe. It’s gutting to discover one dead, just yards from the safety of our garden, especially in a week when we learned that wildlife numbers are continuing to plummet in the UK. But all we can do is continue to operate our garden primarily as a hare sanctuary and hope that this proves a one-off.

Postscript – just as I was writing this, I was delighted to see not one but two hares come through the garden and pause at the gate before heading off up the road. Here’s hoping they’re off to make more hares …

8 Responses to Outrun

  1. welshcyclist says:

    Yesterday, while driving to my start point for my bicycle commute to work, I ran over a squirrel which decided to run across the road at just the wrong moment. There was nothing I could do. It upset me for the rest of the day. I am not a fast driver by any means, sometimes wild life just make the wrong decisions just like us human beings. Sadly our wild life is fast decreasing in numbers so we should all do our utmost to protect them. I don’t believe we have any hares here in the Neath valley anymore.

  2. disgruntled says:

    So sad not to have hares …
    Squirrels also have a death wish.

    • welshcyclist says:

      I looked out for the deceased squirrel’s body on the road when I returned in the evening but it had gone. As Chris Packham would say those calories did not go to waste as they were eaten by the scavengers of the road, crows and the like, even a fox maybe. I’d like to think the squirrel got up after the car hit it shook it’s head and went on it’s merry way, but I don’t believe such a happy ending was on the cards. Cheers.

  3. juliaL49 says:

    #aowalc – All one word, all lower case. It’s parkrun. Not Parkrun, ParkRun, Park Run or any other variant, unless you are deliberately trying to wind someone up, in which case all variants are permitted. parkrun is the name of Paul Sinton-Hewitt’s (brain) child and it is a courtesy to spell the name the way he has chosen.

    (sorry, had to be done)

  4. Charles says:

    Young rabbits have a death wish too but for real stupidity partridges probably take the biscuit, even more bird brained than young pheasants.

  5. stephaniMok says:

    That wee hare is huge btw

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