The grass that prevents hare-razing effects

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The Independent Online

The spring antics of hares have delighted people for generations but in recent years, the animals have become an increasingly rare sight in the countryside, victims of 20th-century farming techniques.

Now, 21st-century crops are giving brown hares, whose numbers have slumped by an estimated 80 per cent in the past 100 years, a chance to recover.

Miscanthus grass grown for biofuel offers the creatures a refuge that replaces the hay meadows which went out of fashion as silage came in. The grass also creates areas of countryside that farmers will rarely need to tend, apart from during the twice-yearly harvests.