Hares About Town is a spectacular public art event in partnership with Wild in Art that will weave its way across Southend on Sea raising money for Havens Hospices.
July 1st until 12th September 2021 – 10 whole weeks!
30 beautiful Hare sculptures, each one individually designed by an artist and sponsored by a business, form a free, fun, family-friendly trail of discovery for local residents and tourists to the town to explore and enjoy!
In addition to the big hare sculptures we have over 50 Leverets (baby hares) that have been designed and created by over 40 schools and community groups across the Borough. These Leverets will form their own trail in Southends’ cultural hotspots slightly earlier than the above trail – from the 14th June.
Following the trail, the Hares will be whisked off for a little makeover, before coming together again, along with the leverets to form a wonderful exhibition at our 'Farewell to the Hares' event
After entertaining the public and bringing people together, the legacy of Hares About Town continues as many of the sculptures will be auctioned for Havens Hospices.
Take a look below to see how you can get involved in this exciting event.
In 2021, Southend will host one of its most spectacular public art events ever…
Our Volunt-hares are a very special team of volunteers who act as friendly and inspiring guides to Hares About Town, handing out maps and chatting to trail visitors about the Hares.
Will you and your team be crowned champions? Scavenger hunt taking part the whole way through Hares About Town (1st July - 12th September)
Join us as we bid farewell to the Hares and Leverets on Friday 24th September 12pm - 6pm
Join us as we bid farewell to the Hares and Leverets on Saturday 25th September 10am - 12pm
Join us as we bid farewell to the Hares and Leverets on Saturday 25th September 2pm - 6pm
Join us as we bid farewell to the Hares and Leverets on Sunday 26th September 10am - 12pm
Join us as we bid farewell to the Hares and Leverets on Sunday 26th September 2pm - 6pm
You can follow the trail from July 1st by downloading our app or picking up a map.
From July maps will be available at: Hare-Quarters at The Royals Shopping Centre, Havens Hospices Charity Shops, Tourist Information Centre – Southend Pier and Rossi’s Ice Cream Parlour – Western Esplanade.
Little Havens were kindly donated 2 giant bronze sculptures of ‘boxing hares’ – these sit in the hospice gardens for everyone to appreciate. They were donated by Miss Joan Hurst who sadly lost her sister in law Mary. Miss Hurst chose artist Sophie Ryders boxing hare sculptures as a memorial, as Mary’s favourite story as a child was the enchanting tale of two hares who playfully try to measure their love for one another- with the ultimate declaration ‘I love you to the moon and back’
Little Havens was chosen as a fitting site for the statue as it combined personal memories of a much-loved relative, a peaceful and secure woodland setting, and a special place where it could be seen and enjoyed by the families who stay here.
Yes! It is completely free to follow Hares About Town and The Learning Programme trail. Trail maps will be available once the trail has launched on 1st July.
The Trail Map will give information about the locations for both Hares About Town and The Learning Programme. This will all be revealed soon.
The aim is for the trail to take people on a journey of discovery and to showcase many areas of the town. Each of the locations have been chosen as they are fully accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, some local restrictions may apply. Wild in Art, Havens Hospices, Kiwi Productions and Hares About Town cannot be held liable for any hares that are unavailable for viewing.
After communities and tourists have enjoyed participating in Hares About Town and everybody’s creativity, dedication and support has paid off – the auction will make a fitting finale. It is an exciting, major event in its own right and will provide a fundraising platform for Havens Hospices.
Yes, full size hares will be sold at the charity auction in September. The school’s leverets will not be available to buy, they will be returned to each of the schools as a permanent memento following the summer’s event.
The auction will take place in September. Following the trail, the sculptures will be refurbished by artists bringing each of the sculptures back to excellent condition before they go under the hammer.
Visit Hares About Town HQ in The Royals Shopping Centre or the Leveret locations across the town to get your paws on a wide range of official merchandise, you’ll find the perfect souvenir to remind you of the summer Hares About Town took over the region.
Through an open call out to artists, Hares About Town invited local, regional and national artists - professional and amateur, famous and undiscovered - to submit designs. Designs were welcome in any art form – traditional to new media, fine art to illustrations, graffiti and mosaic, embroidery to metalwork. Whatever the art form, we were keen to add drama, fun and a creative flourish to Hare About Town sculpture trail. The portfolio of designs was then presented to the sponsors in January 2020 at a Sponsorship Preview reception. At this event, sponsors identified the artwork they would like to choose and the artist was commissioned. In addition, artists worked with community groups on projects with different themes ranging from environment to well-being, through to local history and culture, to create a truly local celebration of Hares About Town.
The locations of the hares are purposefully chosen to avoid vandalism. In most of our events, this is a rare occurrence. Decisions about vandalism are made on a case-by-case basis. Principally, all efforts will be made to restore the hare sculpture. If there is repetition of the vandalism once the hare has been restored, a different location will be found for the hare.
Yes! There will be a unique number for you to type into the app to claim the hare.
We invited schools, young people and community groups to be inspired, get imaginative and decorate a leveret, youngsters took inspiration from local history and the plight of the endangered species. The decorated mini hares will be displayed in arts, cultural and leisure venues across the town alongside the 30 large hares, sponsored by businesses and decorated by regional artists, as part of Hares About Town. At the end of the event, the leverets will be returned to the schools and community groups that decorated them.
Maps will be available from various venues, train stations and information points around the town. We will make sure each venue on the trail has a supply, before the main trail launches on the 1st July.
Confirmed Map Locations:
Hare- Quarters at The Royals Shopping Centre – Southend High Street
Havens Hospices Shops – across the Borough
Tourist Information Centre – Southend Pier – Western Esplanade
Rossi’s Ice Cream Parlour – Western Esplanade