The festival director for the popular Cotswold Hare Trail has stepped down from her role.

Florence Beetlestone has been in the role for the past six years and has today officially retired from the Trail.

She has been responsible from its initial beginnings in Cirencester to its current growth covering the whole of the Cotswold Region.

Florence has tirelessly built up the highly successful hare sculpture trail over the years, so that it now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area from all over the world.

In so doing she has helped the Cotswold Hare Trail to raise more than £135,000 for local charities.

All of this has required a huge personal commitment whilst hundreds of sponsors, artists, patrons, helpers and supporters have been recruited to enable the event to flourish.

Having a break this year has enabled Florence to take stock and make her decision.

"I have realised just how much it had taken over my life," she said.

"Though hugely satisfying I have decided that I can no longer put my efforts into driving forward yet another event."

Florence has been staggered by the event's success, she added: "I knew at the beginning that there was potential but I had no idea it would be so hugely popular."

"The 2019 trail won the Newsquest Pride of the Cotswolds Award and the Cotswold Community Event of the Year Award was a tremendous boost.

"It proved just how much we have achieved by involving so many community groups across the region, always paying attention to enabling young people to get involved wherever they can. So many people from all walks of life in over 20 Cotswolds towns have been involved. It is just impossible to thank them all individually, but collectively they have been brilliant."

Florence now looks forward to seeing a new director take on the challenge of keeping the hares in the spotlight.

“Since I have been running the recent trails without my input currently no further events are planned," she said.

"However this is a wonderful opportunity for someone now to develop. I shall remain as President of the Cotswolds Hare Trail but this will definitely be a back seat role."

If you are interested in taking on the Trail please contact