Autumn is a time of great natural beauty. Why not go for a walk in one of our Biosphere's great woods to feast the senses?
Flame-coloured leaves falling all around, crunching and squelching beneath your feet, awaiting in windblown piles to be laid upon and gathered, kicked and scattered by kids and adults alike. The bright red of Hawthorn and Yew berries, evergreen Ivy and Holly, purple Sloes, spiky Horse Chestnut and Cob nuts and the thick scent of loam and mulch.
As autumn progresses the bounty of fruit and nuts found in our scrub and woodlands brings in migratory birds, such as Fieldfare and Redwing, flying in from mainland Europe and northern climes to over-winter on our shores, taking advantage of our comparatively mild winters. Our shy and retiring resident Eurasian Jays become emboldened at this time of year, busying themselves stowing the abundance of fallen acorns for the coming winter. These colourful corvids are truly stunning birds so make the most of the chance to watch them hopping about on lawns and in our parks. Keep putting out food and water for your garden birds and think about how you can leave habitat piles and uncut areas of grass in your gardens to harbour the invertebrates which many of our birds, including the plucky Wren rely upon year round.
Also, take time to enjoy our ‘second summer’ when the intricate shapes, scents and colours of wildflowers give way to the equally beautiful and fascinating abundance of fungal fruiting bodies – mushrooms. While it takes experience to discern many of the species, and foraging is definitely best left to the experts, all are free to behold, and the sight of a glistening green Parrot Waxcap or a behemoth Giant Puffball is priceless. Like wildflowers, you will find different fungi in different habitats and some of our most colourful species are found up on the chalk grassland of our Downs. Keep an eye out for organisations running fungi walks, a great way to learn a little more about the mycorrhizal world beneath our feet.
BHWF has a new website with lots of info about our wonderful Living Coast Biosphere, what is going on locally and things you can do at home to help nature.