Hares About Town mural painted on wall with blue background and hare

Hares About Town

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. 

Hop into action!

Hares About Town promises to be a spectacular event in Southend which will raise vital funds to support our free hospice care. Take a look below at the ways to get involved. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about Hares About Town below. If your question isn't answered here you can contact us be emailing info@haresabouttown.co.uk

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.

  • The hare has universal appeal, no matter your age.
  • They are a poignant symbol of the continuation of life, positivity and regeneration; it feels apt as a symbol for both the hospices and for the town as we enter a new era of growth and regeneration; a burgeoning of new life and optimism!
  • The brown hare is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most beautiful, most charismatic and most iconic wild animals with a rich history of folklore. Once thriving in the rural flatlands of East Anglia, these beautiful creatures are now under threat, joining the ranks of some of our most endangered species.
  • The hare will bring out the explorer/traveller in all of us to ensure residents/tourists get active and walk or even hop along the trail.

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

Vivien in the garden at Little Havens
I didn’t realise that it would be a home from home, it completely changed my view about what a hospice could be. Julie, Vivien’s mum