However, on the new farm I’ve already caught black ones, silvery grey ones, two deep ginger types and several very light sandy ones. The family that farm there say this isn’t too unusual. But what could cause such variations in a small area like this?

FERRETING

Edward Cook

I too visit farms where such colourations also pop up, especially black ones.

The research I’ve done threw up one of two things – either pet rabbits had been dumped and then bred with the wild population or, more commonly, years back there had been a commercial warren in the vicinity.

These specially-made warrens were looked after by warreners who often kept coloured rabbits; if one went missing they would know instantly that they had a problem with either a predator or a poacher, and coloured rabbits also made more at market for their fur.

It speaks volumes about the resilience of rabbits that such genetics should keep showing themselves many generations later.