Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hares in the Euston Road

After live-tweeting an academic event at University College London for my day job yesterday, I needed a restorative pint on the way back to St Pancras.

I made my way through darkest Bloomsbury before coming across The Resting Hare on Woburn Walk.

It opened a year or two ago and its website explains how it got its name:
The architect behind Woburn Walk, Thomas Cubitt, noted the tameness of the hares on his early morning constitutional. After the opening of Woburn Walk, the newly laid paving stones became a magnet for the local hares, who could easily be seen late at night resting peacefully along the walk. 
Indeed, famous poet W. B. Yeats who lived on Woburn Walk in the 1920’s, wrote of "a handsome old grey hare taking rest" outside number 6. 
Development and increased traffic on the Euston Road had made the crossing too difficult for the hares, and by the start of the 1930s they had disappeared into history.
A remarkable story - and there used to be a pub called The Hare's Foot in nearby Goodge Street.

This week came news that myxomatosis - a disease introduced to Britain in 1953 to control the rabbit population, which it did only temporarily - has jumped the species barrier and is now infecting hares.

Nature is resilient and forgiving, but we do seem determined to trash it.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

Last year, there were reports that European Brown Hare Syndrome and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease had entered the English hare population.