The Damage Rabbits Cause

The wild rabbit is the significant economic wildlife pest species in the UK. Rabbit damage is a significant financial problem for British agriculture, costing the industry an estimated £100 million annually by destroying crops and grazing.

How much of that £100,000,0 was yours?

New shoots on herbaceous plants can be grazed down to ground level. Foliage and soft shoots of woody plants can be eaten up to a height of 50cm (20in) by rabbits standing up on their hind legs. Bark may be gnawed away from the base of trunks, especially in winter when snow or frost makes other vegetation unavailable. This can kill the tree if the bark is removed around the trunk. Partly gnawed trunks should be wrapped in black polythene to encourage the damaged area to callus over. Bridge grafting can sometimes save badly damaged trees, for example on apples.

Rabbits also dig holes and scrapes in lawns and flower beds.


The railway network suffers a lot of damage from rabbits, as they tend to burrow into railway embankments weakening them. They also access adjoining land and damage the crops, vegetation and lawned areas etc.

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