Autumn colour at Morden Hall Park
Jumping in crunchy leaves, discovering shiny conkers and enjoying invigorating fresh air with all the family — autumn is here for us all to embrace.
With so much open space to roam, the former deer park is a breath of fresh air just metres away from Morden high street. Come for an autumn walk, bring the little ones for some autumn fun, or take a much-needed break from your work day.
Autumn colour at its best and stunning specimen trees
You can't beat an autumn stroll - crisp air, falling leaves, the gentle warmth of the sun and, of course, the stunning array of vibrant colours. At Morden Hall Park there are some impressive individual trees to admire as their leaves turn gold in September and October.
Here are some of the best places to see autumn colours around the park.
- Seek out the Gingko biloba and hornbeam in the rose garden
- Look out for an Acer cappadocicum on the left as you approach Phipps Bridge from the north end of the park
- Try spotting unusual swamp cypresses (Taxodium distichum), a deciduous conifer, on the white bridge lawn.
Why do leaves change colour?
Various pigments in the leaves cause the warm, autumn colours you see around Morden Hall Park. Green comes from chlorophyll, needed to convert sunlight into food for the plant. Orange and yellow come from carotenoids which are present in the leaves all year but are normally hidden by chlorophyll. Reds and purples come from anthocyanins which are produced towards the end of summer. The chemical changes affect species in the garden in different ways producing the wide range of colours on display.
Autumn brings a new beauty to Morden Hall Park, when mists hang over the river and wetland on bright, chilly mornings. Head onto the boardwalk as the sun rises to discover delightful misty moments full of wetland wildlife.
Did you know?
At the start of September the Gardens and Outdoors team start draining the wetland to get it ready for cutting in late September early October. As a man-made habitat the wetland has to be cut periodically to stop it gradually growing over and becoming woodland.
It’s cut on a rotational basis, one section each year, to allow wetland animals to continue to thrive. We’re looking for volunteers to help with wetland cutting, so if that sounds like something you would be interested in, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumn amongst the orchards
We have several small orchards across the heart of the park with a focus on Merton Variety Fruit including many apples, pears and cherries. These are varieties that were developed during the fruit trials at the world famous John Innes Horticultural Institute, with some of these trees thought to have been planted in the park in Mr Hatfeild’s lifetime.
The National Trust have added to the orchards by sourcing and grafting these varieties, some of which are now rare. Most can be seen fruiting from the end of August well into autumn.
The best places to see fruit trees are opposite the Stable yard and on the river bank near the Garden Centre and Potting Shed cafe.
Autumn care and conservation at Morden Hall Park
Autumn marks the end of the bird nesting season, and one of the key tasks for the Gardens and Outdoors team at this time of the year focuses on practical habitat management.
The team is busy cutting a percentage of the wetland sedge and reed in order to get a mosaic of different age plants, which increases the number of micro habitats, and therefore biodiversity on site.
Autumn is also ideal for carrying out hedge management - including hedge laying, and scrub managment to protect and care for a precious habitat for small birds and other wildlife.
Warm up and feel good
Morden Hall Park is open to everyone throughout the year for free.
Our cafes and garden centre help us raise money to keep the park looking splendid.
Every coffee you drink and gift you buy helps look after this lovely place.
If you've had a great time at Morden Hall Park, why not text MORDEN to 70525 and donate £5 to help us maintain the property for future visitors and wildlife.