The colours of Autumn
7th September 2015
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The leaves on trees start to change colour before they fall and some years the colours can be particularly spectacular. Andrew Smith, the Forestry Commission's Director at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire said: "Autumn's foliage displays are certainly affected by the weather. This year should be good for producing autumnal colour as, although it's been quite warm it has also been wet with periods of heavy rain interspersed by some really warm, sunny days.

"That has meant a great growing season for trees allowing them to build up plenty of sugars in their leaves. It is these sugars that produce the rich autumnal colours when they are absorbed back into the tree to help them survive winter.

"This year we predict that whilst autumn colours may start soon (we're already seeing signs at Westonbirt), they will be best in mid to late October. However, we anticipate prolonged autumn colour well into November due to the mild, damp weather conditions.

"Predicting when autumn will fall and what type of colour the leaves will turn is always an entertaining task. Trying to guess the timing and colouring of trees in autumn is something that we indulge in every year at Westonbirt using the latest scientific knowledge on trees and leaf senescence (the scientific term for leaf fall). However nature has a wonderful habit of doing the unexpected so we can never give a totally accurate prediction. A harsh storm or a severe frost can easily put an end to many a great autumn show."

With a number of fantastic forest sites displaying the sensory delights of autumn, Forestry Commission England has named its top ten places to visit including:

Westonbirt seasonal trail, at The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire

Symonds Yat Rock to Biblins loop walk, in The Wye Valley in the Forest of Dean

So, wrap up well and enjoy your stroll through the colours of Autumn! 

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Lesley B

Member since: 20th November 2012

I have lived in Abergavenny for 6 years and love the town. I never get tired of walking up Nevill Street and seeing those dramatic hills loom up in front of me! Abergavenny has a friendly atmosphere and...

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