jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Friday 16th October 2020

The sunny spell towards the end of September together with six months of high levels of sunshine have boosted the chances of a ‘spectacular and prolonged’ autumn display of colour, according to experts at the National Trust.

This is in spite of the heavy rain and strong winds much of the country experienced over the weekend which had the potential to scupper nature’s annual autumn spectacle. 

The duration and intensity of autumn colour relies on lots of sunshine for trees to bask in prior to the season’s arrival. 

Although the very dry spring caused stress to some trees, particularly ash trees making them more susceptible to disease, classic summer weather with good levels of both sunshine and rain has given trees the best chance of staying in leaf and retaining their full crowns until temperatures start to drop and colour starts to develop.

Warm summers with lots of sunshine, help to increase the leaf sugar content which, in turn, results in a range of pigments – from reds and oranges, to greens, golds and browns – as leaves turn.

But, weather patterns will need to remain favourable through the first half of October for a memorable display, with enough sunshine during the day, cold conditions at night and no intense storms or rainfall.

The conservation charity cares for more than 10 million trees in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and looks after one of the largest populations of ancient and veteran trees in the world. 

Some of its most spectacular autumn displays can be seen at Stourhead in Wiltshire – home to the UK’s tallest oak tree, veteran trees including beech, holly, lime plus some more exotic trees including tulip trees, Japanese maple and katsura; Sheffield Park in East Sussex – which is renowned for its collection of rare trees including maples, tupelo trees and swamp cypress, providing a taste of North America in the fall; and Speke Hall where visitors can enjoy the dazzling yellows of the avenue of lime trees.

Simon Toomer, Plant Specialist at the National Trust, said: “Autumn in the northern hemisphere is one of the natural world’s great spectacles. It starts in the far northern deciduous forests and progresses southwards to the warm temperate regions over about a 10-week period.  Our northern gardens and woodlands are therefore a week or two ahead of the most southerly.

“The primary trigger for trees to begin the process of shutting down for the winter and shedding leaves is day length but weather conditions through the summer and early autumn affect the rate of leaf loss and intensity of colour.

“North America and Japan are the best-known global hotspots for autumn colour and we are lucky that many of our gardens and parks have many trees from these areas. This variety of species ensures a long and very colourful display and this year, with favourable weather conditions, the show should be spectacular.”

Tom Hill is Trees and Woodland Advisor for the South East.  Among the places he looks after is Winkworth Arboretum which has many champion trees, and Petworth Park which is home to many ancient trees. 

He says: “We’re just starting to see some of the maple trees start to turn – from greens to reds and oranges.  And, judging by how the weather had been over the past few weeks I’d expect our autumn colour to be at its peak in mid to late October.

“Amazingly, we care for around 100 champion trees at Winkworth – all of them either the tallest or widest trunked trees of their species, either in the county or across the whole of the UK and Ireland.

“And, at Petworth we care for many ancient trees – some of which are thought to be more than 600 years old.  The grand old oaks and towering sweet chestnuts create deep carpets of leaves, perfect for our visitors to rustle through as they wander through across the 18th Century, Capability Brown landscape.

“A woodland may be ancient, but it never stands still – it is literally teeming with life at all times of year, not just above ground, but beneath our feet.

“The falling leaves nourish the soil and produce a habitat of their own, supporting billions of microscopic organisms that provide the building blocks for all life in the forest. It’s also a special time of year to appreciate the amazing natural architecture of our trees as their branches are revealed for the first time in months.”

It’s not only trees that may offer spectacular colour this autumn, berries in hedgerows and colour in gardens are also doing well.

Simon continues: “Fruit and berries offer an additional display and our native hedgerow shrubs provide a riot of colour.  One of my favourites is spindle with its bright pink fruits with orange seeds, once used to treat headlice.  Most people recognise blackthorn by its welcome spring flowers but in the autumn it’s the bloomy blue sloes that draw attention. 

“Many of our common garden plants like cotoneaster, dogwoods and mahonia are also at their best in autumn.

“With the evenings already drawing in and with the potential of further localised lockdowns due to the coronavirus, it’s more important than ever that we take the time to notice nature and to drink in the colourful landscapes that we can see at this time of year.  Together with the particular dusky, heavy scent of autumn and the sounds of crisp leaves crunching under foot, will all serve to help our wellbeing through the next few colder, darker months.”

For more information on places to visit for autumn colour or to support the National Trust’s Everyone Needs Nature campaign, where donations will go towards nature projects to include planting an additional 20 million trees, visit nationaltrust.org.uk 

Discover autumn colours in gardens and parks

Jumping in crunchy leaves, discovering shiny conkers and enjoying invigorating fresh air with all the family — autumn is here for us all to embrace. Take a walk through the seasonal spectacle of oranges, reds and golds at some of the beautiful parks and gardens we care for, and get planting ideas for your own autumn colours at home.

Find an autumn garden to feel calm in

If you’re needing to step away from it all and reach a sense of calm, we’ve got an autumn garden for you. Admire the beauty of the golden tones of the trees, and take a moment to notice how the water of a lake is still and peaceful. Listen to autumn wildlife in the trees or take a stroll down a path surrounded by colour in an autumn garden.

Find your calm on an autumn walk

Walking outdoors during autumn can restore a sense of calm. Feel the freshness of the cooler air, hear the birds sing in the trees as the leaves rustle beneath your feet and see the colours transform as the season changes. Everyone needs nature to feel calmer, and you can escape to a world of colour and peace during autumn. Forget your busy life when you take a walk through an autumn forest near you.


UK weather: October 3 was officially wettest day ever – and there is more rain coming

The UK had its wettest day ever earlier this month – and more rain will come later in October after a fine weekend.

Storm Alex brought enough rain to fill Loch Ness on Saturday October 3, the Met Office said.

Data from the national weather service show the day after the storm was the wettest day in records dating back to 1891.

Rainfall was widespread, with an average of 31.7mm (1.25 inches) falling across the whole of the UK and beating the previous record of 29.8mm (1.17 inches) on August 25, 1986.

And more wet and windy weather will continue to hit in the latter stages of October, albeit after a fine and dry weekend.

The odd shower may hit on Saturday and Sunday, but most of the country will enjoy clear skies and sunshine.

However, next week heavy rain returns to many areas, the Met Office said.

Downpours will spread across the UK on Monday and Tuesday.

And the BBC’s long-range forecast suggests even more wet weather is to come towards the end of the month as we approach Winter.

The wettest day ever on October 3, 2020, comes after the UK recorded its hottest day ever in 2019.

Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, the volume of rain that fell across the UK was more than the capacity of Loch Ness, the largest lake in the country by volume, holding 7.4 cubic kilometres of water.

Mr McCarthy added: “It is exceptional to have 30 to 50mm or more of rain falling so extensively across the UK – from the south coast of England to the north coast of Scotland – in a single day.”

Climate change is increasing the risk of more extreme weather, such as more intense heavy downpours, scientists warn.

Grahame Madge, a climate spokesman for the Met Office, said: “The UK’s rainfall record contains many extreme events but it is clear from the UK’s climate projections that with warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers we can expect increasingly more extreme rainfall records toward the end of the century.

“There is a simple relationship between a warmer atmosphere and an increased amount of moisture in the atmosphere – this again suggests that the UK is likely to witness increased rainfall and more record-breaking events.”

The Met Office said the start of October has been very wet, with the UK overall already having 68% of its average rainfall for the month.




“Cutting negative people from my life does not mean I hate them it simply means I respect me.”

— Marilyn Monroe


Happiness is…a beautiful autumn day.


Why did the woman become an archaeologist? Because her career was in ruins.


Love is…tough when things don’t work out as you would have hoped.


A time to crunch through the red and golden leaves…A time to walk through the forty shades of green.


I am so grateful for the Autumn with all its rich colours.



Josephine Grace Brand (born 23 July 1957)[1] is an English comedian, writer, presenter and actor.[2] Starting her entertainment career with a move from psychiatric nursing to the alternative comedy stand-up scene and early performances on Saturday Live, she went on to appear on The Brain Drain, Channel 4’s Jo Brand Through the Cakehole, Getting On and various television appearances including as a regular guest on QI, Have I Got News for You and Would I Lie to You?. She also makes regular appearances on BBC Radio 4 in programmes such as The News Quiz and Just a Minute. Since 2014 she has been the presenter of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. In 2003, Brand was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. In 2019, Brand became a contestant on Taskmaster.

Years active          1986–present


Rhubarb steeped in bleach makes a fantastic celery substitute. – Tova Dolin ,Email.


Thursday 15/10/2020 DAY 194 – 12 Times – 120 Feet  Cum Total – 23,280 Feet – (Goal 29,035 Ft)




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