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Riot of colour in country parks

Posted onPosted on 2nd Oct
Riot of colour in country parks

Visitors to Nottinghamshire’s country parks have been enjoying the mild and warm weather in recent weeks – but the county council’s country park rangers say autumn is very much on track.

The lack of frosts mean that nature is still witnessing the last of the summer season, with leaves on the trees only just starting to change colour and some birds only starting to migrate to warmer climes.

Despite the warm conditions over September, rangers expect that October to herald the start of the riot of colour expected on trees, hedgerows and across its country parks.

Paul Cook, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Assistant Site Manager at Sherwood Forest Country Park, said: “This last weekend was a bumper one with everyone enjoying warm sunshine. We had thousands of visitors and the ice-cream van took record takings for the last week of September. We had around 120 children taking part in the outlaws assault course which proved very popular.

“In comparison to last year when it was very windy, we have yet to see the real changes that autumn brings – but it is still very much on track, and the changes will increase as temperatures start to change in the coming weeks.”

At Sherwood, bracken has started to change colour, and willow and birch are starting to lose their leaves and change colour. There is also a bumper crop of acorns which will be ready for harvesting when Sherwood hosts the annual Seed Hunt Sunday in October.

In terms of wildlife, around 30 people attended a popular Nocturnal Walk last week, but bats are leaving their roosts at dusk which is now getting earlier as the nights start drawing in, while migrating birds such as black caps and red starts are still to make the long flight to Africa for the winter.

At Rufford Abbey, county council ranger Joanne Elliot-Presland said: “We have pond skaters and other minibeasts still around in the wetland areas and unusually for this time of year are holding a pond-dipping session with a school this week. Usually, these sorts of events would have ended a few weeks ago, but the insects are still around with the warm weather.”

Again, the country park has been popular with visitors – thousands of people attended last weekend’s On the Home Front 1940s event, and trees are just starting to turn greenish-yellow and starting to fall, as the seasons begin to change.

Meanwhile at Bestwood Country Park, the last weekend was popular for mountainbikers, horseriders and families as people enjoyed the warm weather.

In terms of wildlife, starlings, black caps and martins have started to migrate over the last couple of weeks, while chiffchaffs are still on site. Redwings and fieldfares have started to arrive from Scandanavia as the weather starts to cool.

Sue McDonald, Community Liaison Officer for the country parks service, said: “Things are starting to happen in relation to autumn changes here at Bestwood. The moths have disappeared as the weather starts to cool along with the butterflies, but mushrooms and fungi have still to appear and the leaves are just starting to fall.”

For more details on forthcoming events at Nottinghamshire’s country parks, visit: