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Prepare for a dazzling display of autumn at the National Trust
THE National Trust is predicting dazzling displays of autumnal colour following the ninth hottest and seventh sunniest summer since records began.
Mike Buffin, the National Trust’s gardens and parks adviser and author, said the autumn colour this year has the potential to be some of the best we have seen for many years.
Mr Buffin said: My prediction is based on a number of factors: the long, hot summer, below average rainfall, and the recent cool nights which make the trees and shrubs more stressed and therefore loose their leaves quicker."
Cliveden in Taplow is expected to look glorios with its amazing landscape garden . There is also a wonderful collection of Japanese maples in the Water Garden, which go early in October as they often colour first.
The head gardener at Cliveden, Andrew Mudge, is one of the National Trust’s most experienced and esteemed head gardeners.
He said: "If the change from summer to autumn, and the onset of winter dormancy, is more pronounced, then the autumn colours will be fantastic.
"Forecasters are hedging their bets on whether we’ll have an Indian summer, so this could allow all the right conditions to fall into place and trigger a spectacular autumnal display."
At Ashridge Estate tinges of red and orange have started to appear on the trees.
Visitors can also see a variety of fungi on the woodland floor, deadwood and trees. If you are interested in fungi book your place on one of the Fungus Forays on Sunday, October 27.
In mid-October, the fallow deer rut takes place. This is when the mature dominant bucks (males) compete to mate with the does (females).
During this time the loud groans of the bucks can be heard in many parts of the estate. Each dominant buck takes possession of an area by groaning and scent marking. Known as a stand many of these areas have been used for several years. The does are attracted to these points and gather in large numbers. Other bucks are also attracted and fights often occur.
Pick up a map from the National Trust shop and staff can point you in the direction of the best places to see the deer rut for yourselves.
Other National Trust hot spots where you are likely to see some dazzling autumn colour are Hughenden, Stowe and Basildon Park.
You can share your pictures of autumn colour on: Twitter by tweeting @southeasnt, Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalTrustLondonandSouthEast, Instagram by sending your pictures to southeastnt - #umnglow and the National Trust will share their favourites with their followers.
For the latest news and updates on autumn colour at a National Trust garden near you, please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/southeast
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