From her correspondence, freshly delivered from Harlow, it is clear that Dr L has the impression that all warrens were rabbit warrens.

If I have confused her, I must apologise here, for this is far from the case, and the hare played a much greater part than the rabbit in the work of that zed of excellence, Capability Brown. One might find rabbits in walled enclosures within the walled garden, feeding on the vegetable waste, one might find them in commercial operations, where they were grown both for their fur and meat, but their tendency to burrow made them a hazard for horses and they were generally unwelcome in parkland.

Hares on the other hand were commonly bred in warrens and because they do not burrow they are peculiarly suited to keep company with sheep walks and race tracks. There they might be coursed and hunted and would keep the grass sweet and smooth. Their warrens were usually at some distance from the 18th century country house, perhaps because in the trail of the coursing came gambling and drinking and other misbehaviours that the men preferred to keep for themselves. The Hare Warrens at Wilton, Midleton Park, Peter Beckford’s Steepleton Iwerne, Dogmersfield, Peper Harow and Keeper’s Warren at Southill, are all examples of this.

Against expectation these warrens tended to be wooded, or to have woods in them – the hares were thought to need the cover – and indeed a place to which they might safely retreat would have been as welcome to them as it would be to anyone who has been hunted by dogs.