By Charles Wade-Palmer
A couple who are bonkers over bunnies have transformed their garden into a rabbit wonderland.
Emma Hartshorne, 46, and Wayne Kenward, 50, have spent thousands on pampering their 30 fluffy bunnies with a luxury lifestyle equipped with their own entertainment.
The bunny spoilers say they cannot help but give their herd the very best life possible which led them to design and fit a run who treat their rabbits
Property developer Emma said: “They’re just like cats and dogs, they’re just so funny you cannot fail to be happy around them as they will brighten up any dull day.
“They’re also like humans in that they get really bored doing the same thing over and over again so you need to introduce different things to keep them entertained.
“We’ve got a lot of rabbits and of course it would be great to have them all together watching tv with us but it would be carnage so we’ve just got four inside and the rest out.
Emma and Wayne who runs his own IT firm have overtime developed a smallholding at their rural home near Stratford-Upon-Avon in Warwickshire.
The couple may look after chickens, horses and even alpacas but it is their 23 bunnies who clearly steal their hearts and the show.
Emma said: “It’s wonderful to see their personalities come out over time once they’re settled. The more time you actually spend with them the more they trust you.
“I don’t think you can beat a rabbit in the house because you see them a lot more about. In the evening you don’t see the other rabbits to the same extent as the four in the house who are very, very special and go where they please.
“If you do tea and toast in the morning they’ll chase after you up the stairs to have some, they’re so funny.”
Emma approached specialist rodent runs business Runaround with an Alice in Wonderland inspired idea to build a maze shaped like a giant rabbit.
120 metres of pipe, hours of hard labour and £4,000 later Emma and Wayne’s spoilt herd made up of three territorial groups left to run about at once for the first time.
Emma said: “They are going absolutely crazy with it. The new run allows all of them to go out at the same time without bumping into each other and getting into fights.
“You don’t necessarily need a big garden to create something that the rabbits can be busy in so we hope this will give people ideas and get their funny personality across.
“One lets out this huge breath of fresh air when she comes out of the treehouse as if to say she’s very satisfied and content which is adorable to watch.
“We’re so so pleased with it and now we want to try and rescue as many rabbits as we can.
“We got eight new ones last week at the who are temporarily being kept in quarantine for a couple of weeks until their second jabs.
“They’ve haven’t come from particularly bad homes but they weren’t getting the care and space that we can give.”
Emma and Wayne have built pretty much everything installed for the rabbits themselves from a treehouse to their individual hutches with the only exception being a fence to keep out foxes.
“The whole garden was built by me so my labour was free and things like the tree house and rabbit maze and mound were all built by me from reclaimed materials that I had here already.
“We built the log cabin and hutches and everything like that ourselves. The only thing we didn’t build was the black prison fencing that keeps predators out.
“I can’t recall how much we paid for that but it was more costly than the latest garden.”
Emma explained that despite the time and effort needed to build a five star resort for dozens of rescue rabbits, looking after 30 of them is not as time consuming some might think.
She said: “A lot of people say to me, ‘I bet they take so long to deal with’ but if they’re quite calm clearing them out every day doesn’t take much time at all, only ten or 15 minutes.
“Once a week I jet wash the garden to make sure they have clean grass to eat which probably takes three hours.
“If we’ve got new ones in like last week which are quite aggressive because I think they’re just grumpy, it’s just a case of sitting with them and gaining their trust so I would say that’s where the most time is taken.
“You need to work on that and get them used to having their claws cut too.”