The writer passed away on Christmas Eve, aged 96.

His 1972 children's book, about a group of refugee rabbits forced to find a new home after their warren is destroyed by developers, became a bestseller.

Watership Down, which won the Carnegie Medal for children's fiction, was also adapted as an animated film in 1978.

Adams also wrote Shardik, The Plague Dogs, and The Girl in a Swing.

His death has been confirmed in a statement on the Watership Down Enterprises website, which reads: "Richard's much-loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10pm on Christmas Eve."

His death was marked with a passage from Watership Down: "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..."