Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, dies aged 96

Published in 1972, Watership Down is an epic tale of a group of rabbits fleeing the destruction of their warren in search of a new home

British author Richard Adams, who wrote the classic children's novel Watership Down, has died aged 96.

He passed away peacefully at 10pm on Christmas Eve, according to a statement his family posted on the book's official website.

Accompanying the statement was a quotation from his most famous work:

‘It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.

“You needn’t worry about them,” said his companion. “They’ll be alright - and thousands like them.”’

Published in 1972, Watership Down is an epic tale of a group of rabbits fleeing the destruction of their warren in search for a new home. It was adapted into a film in 1978 and a TV series between 1999 and 2001.