The UK is currently basking in a mini heatwave which seems to happen as the children go back to school but we all know that Autumn is just around the corner, and that means chilly mornings, cooler evenings, daddy longs legs and the inevitable clocks changing.
Apart from hunting out our favourite knits and asking google for this year's best boots, we have been thinking about what the change in seasons has in store for us outside. We’ve also dug out our long sleeve Dust & Pine top, as it’s perfect for layering up or on its own!
Of course, we are big fans of an outdoor walk, but we also like to have a bit of fun especially, if you are heading out with the kids, so here’s a few things to do.
Play Conkers a traditional children's game played outdoors using the seeds of horse chestnut trees—the name 'conker' is also applied to the seed and to the tree itself. The game is played by two players, each with a conker threaded onto a piece of string: they take turns striking each other's conker until one breaks. Important to make sure you stand a good distance away from each other as you don’t want to hit each other in the face!
- Conkers were only introduced to Britain in the 1600s. The first recorded game of conkers dates back to 1848 on the Isle of Wight.
- Don’t eat them; they are poisonous if eaten raw or roasted.
- There is no scientific proof that conkers repel spiders, it might just be wishful thinking.
- They can be mildly poisonous to animals and cause sickness but they are ok if you’re a deer or wild boar
Go Fruit Picking it’s so fun this time of year as the trees and hedgerows are full of fruit that you can forage including blackberries, damsons and apples. Take an old ice cream container to fill and when you get home make crumble, jam or even flavoured gin! Discover Wildlife provides information on how to identify wild fruits.
- Humans started brewing alcohol 9,000 years ago, but nature has been doing it much longer, via yeast fermentation in rotting fruits and other sugary substances. The (aptly named) bohemian waxwing may gorge on so many fermented rowan berries in winter that it’s unable to fly or even walk in a straight line.
- The study of fruits is called POMOLOGY
- Apples float in water because they are 25% air
- Eating an apple is a more reliable method of staying awake than consuming a cup of coffee. The natural sugar in an apple is more potent than the caffeine in coffee.
Collect Pine Cones a pine cone hunt can be rewarding for both adults and children. They can usually be found beneath conifer trees between September to December and are popular because they make great Christmas decorations and can be used for garlands and wreaths (yes we said Christmas in September!) If you want to use cones for craft make sure you clean them first.
Pine Cone Facts
- The individual plates on a cone are called scales, they keep the seeds safe from the weather and animals until they are ready to be released and grow into new trees.
- The UK has three native conifers, Scots, Juniper and Yew.
- Squirrels and Chipmunks like to gather pine cones.
- Pine nuts come from pine cones.
Enjoy the Leaves Crunching leaves, vibrant views and the red-tinted golden hues of autumn make this earthy season the perfect time to visit the nation’s beautiful forests, woodlands, parks, arboretums and waterways. Lace-up your walking boots and head to the woods for an autumn stomp. Countryfile have highlighted some of the best places in Britain to see autumn colours.
- Changes in the length of daylight and temperature, cause leaves to stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green colour disappears, and the yellow to orange colours become visible and give the leaves part of their autumn splendour.
- According to The Encyclopedia of Superstitions, there's a popular belief that "as many falling leaves as can be caught in the hand in autumn, so many happy months will follow."
- The plant with the largest leaves in the world is Raphia regalis, a species of Raffia Palm belonging to the palm tree family Arecaceae
- Animals and insects that eat mostly leaves — such as pandas, caterpillars, giraffes or koalas — are called folivores.
Just because the seasons change it doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy being outdoors, wrapping up and getting outside is still just as much fun and autumn really is a season to enjoy some great walks and activities. Fresh air is so good for us and keeping active all year is so important to our health and wellbeing.