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Autumn at Bedgebury - reflections on lake

Bedgebury Autumn Colour

Autumn is perhaps the best time of year to visit the Forestry Commission’s National Pinetum and Forest at Bedgebury. The colours are beautiful and the air is fresh; the trees are bountiful with cones, fruits, berries and seeds, fungi are abundant across the forest floor, and bright autumn skies create wonderful reflections on the lakes.

This year the team at Bedgebury are encouraging visitors to make the most of autumn by enjoying a list of ten seasonal experiences as they take in the lovely autumn colours of the deciduous trees set against the stunning back drop of the lakes and evergreen conifers.

With shades of red, chestnut, ochre and copper visitors to forest will enjoy a feast of colours. Particularly striking in autumn are the golden larch, which turn a deep golden colour. The dawn redwood and swamp cypress are also favourites, and can be found creating stunning reflections in Marshal’s lake. The sweet gums (or Liquidambar) produce a range of purples reds and yellows, often on the same tree, and on a warm sunny afternoon you may smell the candyfloss or caramel delights of the Katsura tree.

The Bedgebury team’s ten favourite ways to enjoy autumn are:

  1. Enjoy the popular autumn seasonal trail which this year's celebrates 90 years of Bedgebury's National Pinetum tree collection. The trail starts from the visitor centre, where an accompanying guide can be collected.
  2. Wrap up warm and pack a picnic – Dig out your favourite hats, scarves and gloves and venture into the forest or pinetum to find your favourite spot for an autumnal picnic. And whatever your age, have fun kicking up the fallen leaves as you wander around the forest to find chestnuts as they fall to the ground.
  3. Challenge the kids with the new Gruffalo Orienteering trail! Arriving on 24 October, kids will love the excitement of using a simple map to try and find twelve Gruffalo markers! They may even find the Gruffalo and new Gruffalo’s Child sculpture along the way!
  4. Bring the children along to the fun holiday events in October where they can enjoy activities such as seed foraging, hunting for hidden boxes or getting messy making bird feeders!
  5. Join one of the Friends of Bedgebury’s popular guided “Fungi Walks” led by Bryan Bullen of the Kent Wildlife Trust. Each walk will begin at the Visitor Centre with a brief talk on the different types of mushroom and the ways to identify them, before taking you into the pinetum to see what the 2015 season has to offer fungi enthusiasts.
  6. Make the most of your bike ride with the Cycle Happy activity sheets. Forestry Commission England has created three Cycle Happy activity sheets for your mind, body and soul. You'll find lots of ideas for fun things to try out on your ride, with activities for the whole family. Sheets are free and can be collected on site from Quench Cycles or downloaded before you visit from http://www.forestry.gov.uk/cyclehappy Quench will be offering a prize to a winner selected from anyone that completes all three activity sheets.
  7. Adults can enjoy 15% discount on Go Ape Tree Top Adventure by entering the discount code “DARE2015” when booking online at http://goape.co.uk/days-out/bedgebury and for the first time this autumn you can bring the kids along to enjoy Tree Top Junior with Go Ape at the weekends.
  8. Your canine companion will love exploring and finding all the new smells in Bedgebury forest, and it’s a great place to explore in autumn when the leaves of the deciduous trees are changing colour and the undergrowth is gradually dying back revealing new sticks to chase!
  9. If you enjoy taking photographs whilst at Bedgebury, you can join in the #autumnleafwatch phenomena by sharing your favourite autumn images on the Forestry Commission England Facebook, Instagram and twitter pages. Throughout October the favourite pictures will be shared and as autumn draws to a close the public will be asked to vote for their favourite autumn image which will be displayed on the Forestry Commission autumn web page in 2016. The winner will also win one year’s Forest Discovery Pass and Go Ape vouchers. In addition, if you post your Bedgebury photo using #lovebedgebury we will share our own Bedgebury favourites. For more information about the competition and exploring Forestry Commission managed woods and forests this autumn, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/autumn
  10. And after all that activity, why not get cosy in the Bedgebury Café and indulge in a warming mug of hot chocolate or tuck into a delicious bowl of hot soup whilst enjoying the lovely views across the pinetum.

www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury, www.facebook.com/bedgeburypinetum www.twitter.com/BedgeburyP

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