Hares of Hampshire tours Winchester & Southampton with their ‘Hero Hare’

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14 April 2022

Following the spring launch of the Hares of Hampshire, a Wild in Art event by local charity The Murray Parish Trust, the team took to the streets of Winchester & Southampton this March with their ‘Hero Hare’, one of 31 spectacular giant hares, painted by talented British artists, which will form an interactive art trail across the two cities this summer.

The three-day tour saw Sarah Parish, (actor & co-founder of The Murray Parish Trust, travelling across Hampshire, visiting local business sponsors who have helped bring the event to life, including Westquay Shopping Centre, Williams Shipping, GO! Southampton, Experience Hampshire, the University of Winchester, Paultons Park & Presenting Partners for the trail, Ahmad Tea. Each sponsor is supporting a different aspect of the trail, either by sponsoring their own giant hare sculpture or assisting with the trail set up and logistics.

Helping Sarah & the Hero Hare on their travels was Tony Hand & his event hire business, Set to Go, who transported the pair throughout the three days in an open-top vintage car, stopping in prime locations including Southampton Bargate & the King Alfred Statue in Winchester.

Rebecca Handley, Interim Executive Director at GO! Southampton said: “To be able to support the Murray Parish Trust through this event as City Partner is a privilege. It’s been a few years since we last saw a Wild In Art trail in Southampton, and they are always well received by the public and businesses. We look forward to seeing all the beautifully-designed Hares across Southampton which we hope will drive footfall and get visitors moving around the city this summer.”

Speaking about the Hare Tour event, Sarah Parish says, “It’s been a fabulous few days bringing joy to the streets of Winchester & Southampton, raising awareness for what will be the largest outdoor art installation that these cities have ever seen. The reaction from the general public has been phenomenal, we’ve had numerous questions about the hare itself and there’s been a real buzz around the Hares of Hampshire trail – it’s fantastic to see so many people looking forward to it!  We’re really excited to unveil the designs that some very talented artists have been busy painting on our giant hares and to be working with so many amazing local businesses. We do still have a few sponsorship opportunities available if anyone would like to ‘hop’ on board!”

The Hares of Hampshire trail, running from 16 June – 25 August 2022, is an outdoor public art trail, featuring giant, brightly painted Hare statues at different locations across Winchester & Southampton. Each giant sculpture will be sponsored by a business and individually designed by local artists, showcasing the wealth of artistic talent the county has to offer – while positively contributing to the economic, cultural and social life of the area. Smaller, baby hare sculptures, Leverets, will be decorated by schools and youth groups across Hampshire as part of The Little Leverets Learning Programme. 


Residents and visitors to the cities will be able to hop on the free, fun, family-friendly trail of discovery to find the Hares using an interactive app. The app will map out the route allowing everyone to explore some of Winchester & Southampton’s famous landmarks including Winchester Cathedral, The Great Hall, Abbey Grounds, River Park, Bargate, The Guildhall & many more. As explorers visit each uniquely decorated Hare or Leveret, the app will allow users to receive special offers or discounts from the sponsor as well as display information about the artist, fun facts about the hare and its location. 

As City Partner, GO! Southampton will have its own uniquely-designed Hare in the city centre for people to visit as part of the trail – stay tuned for the reveal!

To learn more about this extraordinary event, hop on over to www.haresofhampshire.co.uk where you will find information on the sponsorship packages & learner programmes. Alternatively, email info@haresofhampshire.co.uk

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