A Wiltshire treasure hunt which remains unsolved after two years has turned into a worldwide search.

Treasure-hunters are racing to uncover the secret in the wildlife artist Joanna May’s ‘Hare On The Moon’ book in the hope of winning a prize worth £15,000.

The book took two years for Ms May to complete and is centred around a puzzle which takes readers through a series of hare paintings based on Wiltshire’s spiritual landmarks.

Her idea was aimed at getting the ‘treasure hunters’ to comb the county’s countryside and find the map coordinates and a combination of words which would unlock her exclusive gold leaf painting which has been given a value of £15,000.

Ms May said: “The Hare on the Moon project was ten years in the making, and is a love letter to the beautiful county of Wiltshire which plays host to the second largest population of hares in the UK.

She also noted that she was surprised the competition was still ongoing.

She said: “The book, inspired by Kit Williams’ classic Masquerade, is a truly unique treasure hunt based around my hare paintings - and I genuinely believed it would have been solved by now!”

The competition is free and has received entries from more than 500 people who had completed the the objective and thought they had cracked the code.

The initial closing date for entries, which was November 21, 2021, has just been extended by Ms May, who has confirmed the prize will still be awarded to whoever cracks it first.

She added: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the support that’s been shown for the book since its launch and the huge amount of entries that have been received from around the world so far - yet the winner’s still out there somewhere!”

“I know that there are some serious treasure hunters on the case, determined to win the prize before the end of this year. The treasure hunt will now continue indefinitely until the first successful entry is made.”