League professional Investigator captures stunning images of wild hares
"Biological diversity evokes happiness” is the conclusion of a recent scientific study into whether nature in your local area also increases human well-being.
This is certainly not a new concept, as for many of us getting lost in nature brings solace from the pressures of everyday life. As we find ourselves entering a second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a significant toll on our emotional wellbeing, anything that increases our happiness has got to be a good thing!
One year on and some may still find themselves isolated from family, friends, and the natural world; finding positive things to hold on to is sometimes a hard task. An oasis for many wildlife lovers; including myself, is the ‘Self-Isolating Bird Club’ a social media site hosted by Chris Packham and the League’s very own Youth Ambassador, Megan McCubbin. This has helped many people feel connected to like-minded people who enjoy hearing about their local wildlife.
Careful management of one’s own emotional health and well-being is especially crucial for those who are committed to ending cruel sports, whether this is working for the League, running a wildlife rescue or being one of the many hunt monitors or hunt saboteurs. Relentlessly witnessing cruelty and hearing the lies and hypocrisy of those who enjoy pursuing and killing wildlife for sport does take its toll. Taking time out to enjoy the wildlife we are protecting is a must in maintaining a positive outlook.
Lockdown doesn’t mean wildlife abuse in the name of sport has stopped, however many animals have had some respite. I am lucky that I haven’t been on my own during lockdown, and that I’ve had some marvellous wildlife on my doorstep.
One of my favourite wild mammals is the brown hare. During the last twelve months I have seen their numbers slowly increasing, especially in areas where I’ve previously witnessed them being actively hunted and killed by the local beagle pack. The increase in hare numbers is not huge, but it’s been a joy to take the short journeys to my local countryside to spend time with my hare friends.
It is such a boost to my well-being when I spend a couple of hours with these marvellous mammals, especially at this time of year in the height of the mating season. They are such fun and a privilege to photograph as they interact with each other, largely oblivious to my presence. It really is astounding there are people out there who get enjoyment from harming them.
Interacting with wildlife has certainly helped my emotional wellbeing and also recharged my determination to stand up against the small minority of people who would seek to promote violence towards our wildlife in the name of sport.
Mark is the League’s Head of Field Operations, and his work often brings him into dangerous confrontations with hunters. You can support this brave and important work by donating today: