Cirencester hares make £113k for wildlife charity

An auction of giant hare statues which formed a sculpture trail around Cirencester over the summer raised £113,000 for a wildlife charity.

The 40 5ft-tall (1.5m) models were decorated by local artists, celebrities and school children.

The money will be used for projects aimed at improving the environment and helping young people.

The hares were based on a Roman mural, found in the town in the 1970s, depicting the animal.

Organiser Florence Beetlestone said the highest amount paid for one of the hares was £9,000 for one of the mosaic hares.

The festival was organised by the Cirencester Community Development Trust.

Celebrities who contributed designs included TV presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and actress Emma Samms who both live in the Cotswolds.

The money will go to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to set up what is being called Green Hare Churn Way.

The plan is to open up the River Churn near to Cirencester and put in wildflower meadows and habitats.

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