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Confused weather leads to late autumn colour!
Batsford Arboretum – normally a blaze of colour by this time each year is about two weeks behind – in line with many other parts of the country. But staff are confident it will prove some of the best for years once it does arrive over the next few days!
October 2013 has been an amazing year for fruit, haws and hips which continue to provide a blaze of reds, pinks and oranges, but leaf colour is proving very late to arrive.
This week the Woodland Trust said it believed autumn is running at least 2 weeks late, probably due to the warm, damp weather we’ve had lately. This is deterring trees from breaking down the chlorophyll in their leaves so quickly which is why they’re staying green for longer. Once the weather gets a little colder, the process will begin, turning the leaves from yellow to orange and red – a classic autumn.
Operations Director Stuart Priest says while everyone enjoyed the first ‘proper’ summer for years, overall it’s been a year of confused weather! ‘We started off with the incredibly cold and late spring which checked back the blossom and lead to a fantastic mix of both bulbs and blossom well into May, followed by the amazing heat of summer. The recent rain has delayed the appearance of our normal autumn colour spectacular – in fact even hedgerows and the beautiful Cotswold countryside around Batsford are still very green’ he says.
But it has lead to an amazing display of rose hips, haws and fruits which abound in the arboretum and which prove a huge benefit to local birds and wildlife who rely on them for food.
Mr Priest says ‘we are always being asked when the best time is to visit for the peak colour but this year more than most is proving almost impossible to predict because of the changeable weather. But we’re confident once it does appear it’ll be another autumn to remember!
: 25/10/2013 18:34:36
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