THE first hares that will form Malmesbury’s contribution to the 2017 Cotswold Hare Festival have undergone an official unveiling at the town hall.

The three stunning works of art have been sponsored by Malmesbury Town Council, the Town Team and The Old Bell Hotel and can be seen outside the town hall, the Tolsey Gate at the entrance to the Abbey grounds and outside The Old Bell.

The town council hare has been created by Sue Steel in mosaics depicting scenes of Malmesbury, whereas the Town Team hare has been painted by young artist Sian Stinchcombe taking inspiration from the Discover Malmesbury identity.

The Old Bell’s hare takes on a regal look inspired by a tapestry of King Athelstan by Phillip Kingsbury.

Mayor Wayne Jones and Councillor Sue Poole explained to sponsors, guests and the hare artists and their families, how thrilled Malmesbury is to be part of this year’s expanded Cotswolds Hare Trail, calling it a wonderful initiative which will attract more residents and visitors to the town centre.

Sarah Wilde from Malmesbury Town Team said: “We are delighted to be involved with the trail which provides an opportunity to welcome more visitors to our town, gives local artists an opportunity to showcase their talents and raises money for charity.”

Residents can look out for more hares which are expected to join Malmesbury’s drove in the coming weeks, including homeless hare King Hare-nry.

Tudor and smaller hares dotted around the town will also be unveiled and have been sponsored by Nurdens, Lumleys, Foxley Road Nurseries, Michael Thomas, and the Hair Studio in the Triangle.

Maps of the Cotswolds Hare Trail are available from the tourist information centre.

Visit for more details or go to cirencestermarchharefestival.