Autumn in the woods
As the leaves start to turn and the days draw in, our woodlands become even more alluring
After capturing the summer sunshine as green chlorophyll, trees begin to break it down to absorb the sugars and starch, leaving other pigments behind – the yellows and oranges of carotene and xanthophyll, the reds of anthocyanin. The National Trust, Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust all list places where these colours are particularly splendid, so pull on a coat, download the Woodland Trust’s Tree ID app and see how the different trees change in their own unique way.
l The seedheads also give clues to their identity, and you can collect cones and sculptural looking deadheads to bring some of the autumn indoors. There are apples and chestnuts to be foraged, too, and mushrooms growing through the damp mulch of fallen leaves soaked by late rains.
l Take a camera along to capture the colour in the golden hour, just after sunrise or just before sunset, where the softer light makes the forest even more magical. nationaltrust.org.uk; forestry.gov.uk; woodlandtrust.org.uk.