The National Trust's Autumn Challenge

sizergh autumn

We welcome autumn on the 23 September and this year, we want to capture autumn as it unfolds across the UK. This is where you come in, we want you to share your pictures on Instagram of our places in all their seasonal glory, using the hashtag #NTautumnchallenge.

Autumn is such a picturesque time of year, September right through to early November brings us crisp mornings, golden leaves, bright berries and dramatic sunsets. With so much rich colour and that special glow of light you get at this time of year, it's a great season to capture with a photo. So, we're inviting you to join us on our quest to capture autumn as it unfolds around the country.

Eight weeks, eight themes, eight reasons to fall in love with nature

Kicking off on the first day of autumn for eight weeks, we've compiled eight themes that we hope will help inspire you to fall in love with nature and capture what's special about this season and the places in our care. You can pick a theme a week, or just one that appeals to you. Then share your photos from our places on Instagram using the hashtag #NTautumnchallenge.

And don't worry if you're not on Instagram, why not use these themes for inspiration whilst you're out and about this autumn? Are you up for the challenge?

Challenge themes

Hawthorn berries in the winter

Berry special

Early autumn is when hedgerows and trees are heavy with the jewel-like colours of ripening fruits and nuts. As we welcome the sight of juicy berries in nature’s larder, so does the wildlife that will be feeding upon it. Look out for the bright red berries of hawthorn and the blue-black sloes on blackthorn. Photograph your favourites to share.

Fungi are more like animals than plants

Fabulous fungi

With the arrival of cooler temperatures, keep your eye out for the weird and wonderful fungi that nature produces. They come in all shapes and colours, from toadstools to puff-balls and they have some great names too, from chicken of the woods to turkeytail. We can't wait to see your unusual finds.

Acer leaves in autumn at Sheffield Park East Sussex

Unbe-leaf-able

Autumn is when the natural world treats us to a last burst of colour before the onset of winter. For just a few weeks, the green leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs change colour to many shades of red, golden yellow and brown. Whether they're still on the tree or fallen to the ground, admire their shape, colour and beauty.

Close-up of tree trunkwith autumn colours

Treemendous trees

Sitting at the core of an iconic autumnal image is often a tree. Some of the best trees for autumn colour include our native beech or those that have been introduced, like the Japanese maple. So as the trees turn from luscious green to fiery reds, embark on a walk to find the most picturesque trees to take photos of.

Deer in parkland in Autumn at Belton House, Lincolnshire

Scene at sunset

As the days grow shorter, the sky at sunset can glow with the most amazing hues of red, orange, yellow, even pink. Sunsets are so much more vivid at this time of year, so take time to enjoy one. The golden hour before sunset, is also when the warm natural light bathes the landscape to create ideal conditions for snapping a photo.

Halloween pumpkin trail (ages 0-7)

Pumpkin patch

Pumpkins go hand-in-hand with autumn. Although they originated in North America, we've fallen in love with them too, as they're perfect for cakes and soups (as well as carving of course). Why not share your photos from the pumpkin patch to your carved creations, as we get ready for Halloween?

Trees ablaze with autumn colour at Bodnant Garden

Nature's fireworks

Celebrate the bright dashes of colour that come with autumn, as well as the trees and fiery skies that inject colour into a scene, you'll find colour popping out at you from our gardens, heaths, fens and saltmarshes. Where will the colour come from that catches your eye?

Reflections of autumn colour in the lake

Autumn reflections

As you reflect on the season, look for reflections in nature. From autumn foliage mirrored in the surface of a lake, to an abstract image of autumn captured in a puddle. Calm conditions are best to capture these scenes, although ripples can add another dimension to the water's surface.