Oct 07 2023

Autumn in the forest

Autumn is a favourite season for many, with cool, crisp mornings and blue skies complementing warm colours as the leaves change.

Our Special Protection Area forests, although made up predominantly of evergreens such as pine, spruce and fir, have a good number of broadleaved trees. At this time of the year, birch leaves are turning yellow and brown and dropping at a steady rate and vivid green spiky chestnuts hang in clumps. With gentle winds, the swaying of the trees is rather relaxing!

View across a large pond with mature trees either side, reflected in the clear water

View across my favourite lunch spot!

Personally, I’d happily have summer all year round, so these changes are a comforting slow transition towards the season I hate the most, winter! Autumn can still mean spotting dragonflies, butterflies, bees and reptiles, and the weather can be warm enough to allow a slow stroll, taking in all the sights, rather than a brisk winter walk! Plus there’s nothing like eating your lunch outdoors at a scenic spot!

Photo of a reddish-brown Ruddy Darter dragonfly resting on green bracken

A lovely Common Darter spotted having a rest

Autumn light has a certain warm quality, with the sun low in the sky, and I love seeing dappled light filter through the looming trees, making the understory glow. There’s a soothing backdrop of bird song.

View through pine woodland with sunlight filtering through and lighting up the bracken underneath

Dappled light filtering through the trees

I have gotten lost many times in the forests. By that I mean I’ve shrugged off the stresses and strains of daily life on a good long walk, and felt so much better for it. The vast path network offers real escapism.

Of course I’ll continue to walk in the forests over winter, enjoying the natural windbreak provided by the mature blocks of trees. And one day I hope to visit in the snow, when the forest resembles Narnia! But all the while I’ll look forward to the following spring when it will burst into life again.

If you’d like to experience the sights and sounds of the forest, Bramshill Plantation and Heath Warren Forest are found near Eversley in Hampshire. They are managed by Forestry England.

Communications Officer Nicky


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