With Easter now upon us, I’m sure many of us are about to partake in the bizarre custom of eating large chocolate eggs delivered by a beribboned bunny. But as you’re smashing up your chocolaty treat, take a moment to celebrate the marvel of its form. The humble egg, an item found in millions of kitchens worldwide, is a symbol not only of Easter, but of spring, fertility and new life – yet it’s something we seldom stop to truly appreciate.
Last week, in the run-up to Easter, we looked at the history and the ecological importance of the European rabbit. Today, we’re turning our attention to its larger and more elusive relative, the brown hare. Like we mentioned last time, the hare is not native to the UK, although when, exactly, it arrived here remains unclear. The traditional train of thought is that it was brought to the British Isles by the Romans around 2,000 years ago, probably as a game species.
With Easter now approaching, The Nature Nook is going to be taking a look at a few animals that are closely associated with this springtime holiday. The first to take centre stage is the European rabbit, which I’m sure we’ve all seen hopping around the countryside at one time or another. Perhaps unforgivably, rabbits weren’t included on Alex’s recent list of the cutest British animals, but they are undeniably adorable. And more than that, they have had a huge impact on our landscape, our wildlife, and even our lives over the centuries, as we will later see…