Fullers Hill Cottages (also called Cambridge Holiday Cottages ) form part of of Fuller’s Hill Farm, which is a 450ha farm business in south west Cambridgeshire. The farm is also home to Lt. Gransden Airfield which is a small privately owned aerodrome with about 60 resident aircraft and a couple of aviation related businesses.
So, not mush of a place for indigenous wildlife to live? This in fact could not be further from the truth. The farm and airfield provide a great refuge for many species of wildlife.
The Brown Hare thrives on the airfield, particularly so in the late spring and early summer. During these months the wheat and rape crops in the surrounding fields grow quickly. The crops are very wet following a shower of rain or even in the morning dew. The Hares have quickly woken up to the fact that the short grass on the runway provides somewhere dry on these damp mornings. The Hares love soaking up the warmth of morning sunshine as well as feasting on the many species of grass and clover that grow on the runways.
Better still the wide open spaces provide the ideal location for a touch of boxing. For many years it was believed that males Hares boxed and the strongest would then go on to mate with the females. However, more recent research has shown this to be wrong. It is the female Hare boxing with the Males to choose which one is the strongest and therefore worthy to be the father of her Leverets. At times the females can be fending off up to 6 or even 8 Males. I have seen a gang of 15 or so Hares boxing and chasing each other. It is possible that there was more than one female in season.
The best photos that I have got of the Hares were taken early one summer morning in 2010. I got up at 0400 and parked my car on the airfield. Frustratingly the Hares would not come close. I would slowly drive closer and they would move away. Tiredness then overcame me. When I woke about 45 minutes later, I was surrounded by about 15 Hares that were running chasing and boxing. Some came to within 10 metres of the car.