Although the weather has changed and summer is long behind us, getting outdoors is still something that we should do. Walking is a great form of exercise and as well as being good for us physically, we also have huge mental health benefits from walking. At a time of the year when moods are naturally lower, it is a good reason to keep going out and enjoying nature.

This is a time when there are lots of things in the woodlands to see – the trees light up in warm yellows, reds and oranges as the leaves start to change, and there are many things that you can see on a walk in the autumn woodlands. So, wrap up warm in something like these Mens aran sweaters from Shamrock gift, and head down to the woods to see if you can spot any of these things…

Mushrooms and Fungi – There are lots of different types of fungi in the woodlands and many of them have a close relationship with the trees that benefits both the tree and the fungi, in fact some will only live on certain types of trees! Autumn is the time to see the vast array of fungi – look on Ash trees for the round black lumps called King Alfred’s cakes – looking like a line of burned buns, they are named after the famous mishap of the King! The Fly Agaric is the typical fairytale mushroom – the beautiful bright red with white spots – but do be aware that is in fact poisonous! Some fungi may look repulsive, but they do a fantastic job of clearing up the waste products in the woodlands and cleaning up!

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Fallen Leaves – The leaves at this time of year will cover woodland floors and are a dazzling assortment of colours – from the Ash leaves that often still fall when they are green, to the Rowan which lights up like a fire before shedding its leaves. They are great fun to collect and examine, as well as being useful for making home made natural decorations for the autumn such as door wreaths.

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Seeds and Nuts – A this time of year, many of the trees are also shedding their seeds – there are many types of these to look out for. Acorns of course belong to the oak tree, and they are also a favourite food of squirrels and birds like Jays. Hazel nuts are another wildlife favourite and will be in abundance under the Hazel trees in the woods. Sycamore trees are tall and have seeds that are shaped like little propellors which can then travel large distances. This is also the time to look for conkers – these come from the Horse Chestnut tree and are a favourite with kids who are looking for an autumn game! Careful of the spiky cases though!