THE Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail reaches its finale next weekend with a Farewell to Hares public viewing in Cirencester.

Over four months tens of thousands of people have followed the Trail across the Cotswolds, and next Sunday, September 16 it comes to a close when trail sponsor the Kings Head Hotel in Cirencester will host all 128 Cotswold hares together for the first time.

Trail explorers and art lovers will have the chance to see their favourite designs again at the viewing, as well as those they missed.

The hand-painted hares, springers and leverets will then be on display to the public daily, from 10am to 6pm, until Friday, September 21, when the online auction goes live at

With the hares’ designs showcasing everything including blooms, butterflies and horse racing, there is a one-of-a-kind sculpture to suit every taste.

The proceeds of the auction going to two Cotswolds AONB charitable projects.

Martin Lane, CEO of Cotswolds AONB, said: “We’re very impressed with the quality and beauty of this year’s hares, and are delighted to be the trail’s partner.

"We are dedicated to conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the Cotswolds AONB, while increasing awareness and enjoyment of it, which this year’s trail has clearly achieved.

“We ask that people are generous with their auction bids, as the money raised will support both our Caring for the Cotswolds visitor giving and Glorious Cotswold Grasslands schemes; to ensure residents and tourists alike can continue to enjoy the special qualities of the Cotswolds AONB for many more years to come.”

Florence Beetlestone, trail organiser, added: “I’m thrilled that so many people are enjoying the Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail 2018 - it’s been our biggest and best yet, with more hares and locations than ever before.

“It’s been particularly lovely to see pictures of our hares on social media, taken by people of all ages, interests and even countries. We’ve had people come from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Spain, as well as all over the UK, to take part.

“I’m sure many have already picked their must-have hares to bid on - I know I have my favourites! So please bid generously and help us make a difference to the Cotswolds AONB.

"All of the net proceeds from the auction will go towards supporting our beautiful and world renowned Cotswolds lansdcape.”

Those interested in snapping up their own Cotswold hare or two can register for the auction before it goes live, in person, at the Farewell to Hares public viewing.

The Farewell to Hares public viewing launch from 2-6pm.

The online auction will run until Friday, October 5, with no limit on the number of hares you can bid on.

There’s still time to discover this year’s Cotswold hares, with the trail open until Sunday, September 9. Download your free trail passport at