Famous for its presence in the Scottish Highlands, the mountain hare has a less well-known range across the Dark Peak area of the Derbyshire Peak District. Introduced to the uplands as an alternative to grouse, this game species is now an icon of the Peaks. Differing from its lowland relative, the brown hare, the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) acquires the renowned white pelt in winter months to aid its camouflage in snow.
Like the brown hare, mountain hare are a hardy species, marvelously adapted to life above ground in an unforgiving environment. Armed with excellent sensory equipment, camouflage and a top speed of about 60km/h, mountain hare provide a challenge for any photographer.
With years of experience traveling around North Derbyshire photographing mountain hares, the winter months are, without doubt, the best times to see these animals. In their white fur, the hares are easily located (when there is no snow on the ground) but still require a good deal of patience to approach and photograph. A dusting of snow simply adds to the experience.
The day's tuition will involve meeting early in the Dark Peak to allow for a full day locating and approaching hares in different locations to maximise the range of shots and habitats to be had. The habitat the hares occupy consists mainly of heather-clad peat giving spongy, if uneven, terrain. Despite being soft under foot, the 'heather-bashing' goes a long way to sapping your energy so be prepared for a physically demanding day. A good level of fitness is recommended!
The Dark Peak area is also a stronghold for species such as Red Grouse, Short Eared Owl and Curlew as well as boasting outstanding scenery so be prepared for much more than hare.
You can make a booking for this tuition online or by selecting a date from the menu opposite. Alternatively you can call 07875 449820.
We recommend lenses between 300mm and 500mm. Zoom lenses such as Nikon's 200-400mm or a Canon 100-400mm give excellent flexibility. A tripod (or beanbag) is essential. (You might find a beanbag lighter and less cumbersome than a tripod.) Please make sure you bring fully charged batteries and plenty of memory cards. Other equipment, such as wide angle lenses can be put to use so bring as much as you can carry.
Clothing and food
The uplands of the Peak District are a remote area and highly exposed to weather. Warm clothing and waterproof boots are essential. Exposure to the wind is almost guaranteed so a hat and gloves are thoroughly recommended. Please bring food and drink to supply you for the day.
Due to the remote location of the hares there are no facilities on-site.