Autumn Colour Walk

21st October, 10.30-12.30

House surrounded by woodlands

Come, pensive Autumn, with thy clouds, and storms,

And falling leaves, and pastures lost to flowers;

A luscious charm hangs on thy faded forms,

More sweet than Summer in her loveliest hours…

                                                     John Clare 1793 – 1864

The Bateman’s estate, populated as it is largely by oak, ash, hornbeam, hazel and hawthorn becomes a riot of colour during Autumn. While ash loses its leaves before all other trees, the oak and hornbeam will often hang on well into November, lighting up the countryside with orange, red and gold, sometimes all on one tree at the same time.

There is a strong feeling of nature ‘closing down’ before winter arrives. Dormice fatten-up on hazel nuts before going into hibernation, song thrushes and blackbirds feast on scarlet hawthorn berries (the tastier blackberries have long since been taken), while frogs, toads and newts crawl under fallen branches or logs to see out winter in a cosy, frost-free spot.

On a crisp Autumn day, the hedges will be weighed down with sloes and rose-hips and the smell of damp earth combines with blustery winds to let you know it’s almost time to draw the curtains, pour yourself a drink and curl up in front of the fire.

But first, why not come and explore the 300 acres the National Trust owns here at Bateman’s? On a two hour walk you’ll learn about the history of the landscape, the people that have lived and worked here and the trees that dominate the scenery. Most of all you’ll simply enjoy strolling around this wonderful piece of countryside at what I think is the most beautiful time of year.

Kev, Bateman’s Ranger