ARTY hares are set to hop up all over Southend’s cultural hotspots to raise vital cash for Havens Hospices.

About 30 1.6m high pieces will each be decorated by emerging and amateur artists with a unique design.

The eye-catching charity project, launched in conjunction with the Echo, also involves event-based firm, Wild in Art, and starts tomorrow.

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The hares will then be seen popping up in and around Southend seafront, Southend High Street and at other “history and cultural” hidden gems in the town.

When the exhibition concludes, each of the hares will be auctioned off to raise cash for the hospice.

Artist Paul Karslake, 60, from Leigh, painted the first of the quirky sculptures.

He said he wanted it to have a traditional face and a body that depicted an image of the fishing boats in Leigh.

He said: “The area is something I am very passionate about, having lived here for much of my life; working and raising a family in this fantastically-creative corner of the world.

“Town centres can sometimes be a bit sanitised, so it is vitally important we put on ambitious projects like this to embrace creativity and draw inspiration from the wealth of history and culture in the area.”

Charlie Langhorne, managing director and co-founder of Wild in Art, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Havens Hospices to bring them to Southend for artists, communities and young people to decorate with many unique designs.”

Community groups will be invited to make their contribution to the trail - working with artists to develop and realise their own artistic ideas.

Louise Gloyne, from Havens Hospices, added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Wild in Art for their hares about town event and are all looking forward to following the trail to see what our Essex artists have created.

“It is going to be a great way to celebrate the charity and the town taking ‘the next step’ in local hospice care.”

“The new hospice is going well and we anticipate that the doors to the new Fair Havens will be open in Spring 2020.”