Last night, along with many many others we piled into beautiful Burford Garden Company to visit 50 5ft tall hares. No we haven't gone hopping mad! It was the launch of The Cotswold Hare Trail 2017.
The Cotswold Hare Trail is heading into its fourth year organised by The Cirencester March Festival which this year has broadened their trail all across The Cotswolds. Local businesses can sponsor a giant hare which artists use as their blank canvas to create incredible pieces of art which represent that business, area or the overriding theme this year is 'History'.
(Artist Stephanie Cole Design)
(Sponsored by The Porch House & The Sheep in Stow-On-The-Wold)
Last night was the official launch of the trail, hosted by founder Florence at Burford Garden Co, one of the hares sponsors. In and around the garden centre each hare was showcased for the first time, with sponsors and artists proudly showing off their incredible art work. We spoke with Batsford Arboreutm's resident artist, David who created a stunning hare of the seasons at Batsford - He predicted he'd spent 70+ hours hand painting his hare. Well worth every hour as it represented Batsford's beauty perfectly!
(Sponsored by Batsford Arboretum)
My parents' hotel The Falcon Inn in Painswick also sponsored a hare this year. Artist Kerry Jane who owns The Falcons Nest gift shop and art studio at The Falcon specialises in nature so painting a falcon and oak leaves to represent my parents newest venture in Painswick, The Oak (opening on Monday) was right up her street, although I imagine a challenge on an 5ft hare. It totally exceeded all our expectation! Another stunner that will then take pride of place in Painswick church yard when the trail begins on March 25th.
(Sponsored by The Falcon Inn & The Oak in Painswick)
The Cotswold Hare Trail aims to support local artists, of which we are in abundance of here in The Cotswolds, bringing together local businesses with the creative sector and general public whilst raisig money for local charities. This years charity is the National Star Trust - a fantastic cause in Gloucestershire which provides support and hope to young people with complex disabilities and brain injuries. At the end of the trail in the Autumn, each hare will be auctioned off, I believe it was mentioned last night that last year The Cirencester March Hare Festival raised an amazing £75,000 for charity!!
All of the hares were just incredible, each one completely individual but equally beautiful! We had great fun hunting them out around Burford Garden Co and can't wait to see them on full display in and around The Cotswolds.
After the event we heading into Burford for dinner at The Angel which was really lovely. We blogged about The Angel years ago but sadly haven't been since but it was as good, if not better than I remembered. Delicious food (all of which I don't have photos of because it was too good to wait and snap for) and great service. A real cosy, Cotswold pub... just the way we like them!
Keep eyes peeled on Instagram for hare goings on at @cirencester_hare - The trail official begins on Saturday 25ht March when the first trail maps are published. For more information see their website www.cirencestermarchharefestival.org.uk
Millie & Meg x