Mountain hare spotting!

Mountain hare on the lookout in the Dark Peak early in March. Starting to moult back to its summer coat, but still some winter whiteness left.

Always a wonderful sight, but all the more so with a three year old as the youngest member of the group. And even if he was more interested in the hot chocolate in the group shelter that followed this photo, they are in fact a rare and precious sight in the UK. Mountain hares are native to Scotland but were introduced to the Peak District in the 19th century, and now they can only be seen in the Peak District, the Isle of Man, and in a few parts of Scotland.

If you would like to spot them in the Peak District, your best chance is to head out to Bleaklow or the Kinder Plateau. Try leeward slopes that are out of the wind and away from paths. And I’m told that if you want a close up shot, approach the hare from downhill as they like a room with a view and generally sit facing away from the slope. If they can see you coming (slowly) they are most likely to pose for you.

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