Mountain Hare

Although mountain hares are known for their wonderful changing camouflage from winter to summer, the vagaries of the British weather mean coat colour isn't always in sync with the landscape.

Despite the wintry, snowy conditions, the new brown, summer coat on the hare I photographed in March is already showing.

Mountain hares are found predominantly in the Scottish Highlands and, in smaller numbers, in the English Peak District. They tend to favour upland moors and heathland, where they'll graze on vegetation. 

They are smaller than brown hares, and have shorter ears. The hares don't live in burrows but simply take shelter in a dug-out depression in the ground or snow, known as a form. 

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

Despite this they are still continually persecuted, hunted and shot - legally.

There are number of grouse shooting estates that shoot mountain hares in order to 'protect' their grouse shoots.