THE FIRST hare of Cirencester’s 2017 March hare festival hare trail was unveiled at a pre-launch event at the Corinium Museum last night.

The annual festival is returning next March for its fourth year with a Hare Trail that will expand beyond Cirencester to unite the whole Cotswolds in celebration.

Cotswold photographer Helen Richmond was entrusted with creating the first hare which will have a permanent home in the Corinium Museum.

The hare has been meticulously thought through, it is wearing a jacket featuring an original mosaic design of photos taken entirely in the Cotswolds and the buttons are pictures of the iconic circular hare mosaic found in the museum.

Helen said: “I felt very privileged to be asked to do the first one, it’s really exciting.

“I asked if I could come into the museum to take photos of how the Romans recorded the Cotswolds which gave me the idea of the mosaic form.

“I decided on a cream tone for the photos which gave a nice warmth to the images.”

The pictures are printed on tissue paper before being painstakingly applied with a spray glue.

“It’s evolved since my original idea. It was hard to visualise until I started but one thing I did know is I wanted the hare mosaic for the buttons”, said Helen.

Mark Harris, mayor of Cirencester, said of Helen’s hare: “I think it’s fantastic, it looks great and the whole festival is an asset to Cirencester and the Cotswolds.

“Everyone works together, artists, businesses, local organisations and members of the public.”

The event supported the Corinium Museum’s Stone Age to Corinium appeal which is raising money to create a new area of the museum that will double the number of objects on display and create a new discovery centre.

Director of the Hare Festival, Florence Beetlestone, said: “The idea is to give something back to Cirencester.

“Helen’s hare will be the first of 20 in Cirencester and it’s wonderful to use one of our hares to support the museum appeal.”

Amanda Hart, director of the Corinium Museum, said: “I think it’s absolutely beautiful, it looks quite regal and you can see in the detail the direct comparison between the modern and the past.”

The Hare Festival runs from March 25 2017 – September 10 2017, to get involved and find out more information visit For further details about the Corinium Museum’s appeal, including how to adopt an object, visit