Autumn activities at Dunstable Downs

Autumn leaves with the sunshine lighting them up

Now that autumn is here we are preparing to enjoy it to the full. It is a busy season for our wildlife so keep looking everywhere you go for signs of birds, mammals and insects busy preparing for the colder days ahead.

Dunstable Downs Autumn Offer

As the days grow shorter and the nights colder, we know that autumn is here but there is still plenty to see and do for the whole family at Dunstable Downs.

Cloud spotting in autumn

As you gaze at our beautiful view take time to look up at the magical autumn sky and watch as the clouds float - or when the wind rises - fly by. Use your imagination and see what shapes you can spot up there. Share this relaxing activity with your children and encourage them to forget the worries of everyday life as you watch the scudding clouds together.

Cloud watching is number 33 on the 50 Things to do list so don't forget to tick it off.

Clouds scudding over the Downs
Clouds above Dunstable Downs Bedfordshire
Clouds scudding over the Downs

Hedgerow Habitats

Take a walk along our hedgerows and keep a look out for secret wildlife habitats. Hedgerows provide shelter and food for many different species and are essential corridors linking wooded areas together.

Hedgerow food for hungry birds
Autumn hedgerow at  Dunstable Downs 2020
Hedgerow food for hungry birds

What will you find in the hedgerows this autumn? Birds including wrens, robins, blackbirds and many others will be using them for shelter and will enjoy the berries and insects to be found there.

There will be mammals too, taking shelter and foraging for food including mice, shrews and even bats. At night-time hedgehogs will emerge to search for insects and berries until the weather gets too cold for them – then they will make a den to hibernate and sleep the winter away.

If you already keep a nature diary, don't forget to make a note of what you find. If you haven't already, now would be a good time to start keeping a nature diary, which is number 48 on the 50 things list

Autumn colour and funky fungi

Make your way to Whipsnade Tree Cathedral to see the wonderful autumn colours on the trees developing over the weeks. Take your time as you wander along the aisles and see how many different leaves you can collect. When you get home have a go at making this lantern with the leaves you have collected.

Tree-hugging bracket fungus
Bracket fungus at Dunstable Downs Bedfordshire
Tree-hugging bracket fungus

Search carefully through the wilder areas for fungi and see if you can identify any of them but please don't pick any as they might not be edible. Make a note of what you find in your diary - finding Funky Fungi is number 22 on the 50 things list.

When you get home

The birds in your garden are extra hungry at this time of year as they try to build themselves up ready for winter. Why don’t you make an apple feeder for them to enjoy?

Here's how -