National Trust urges Brits to enjoy the spectacle of a global autumn in Northumberland

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The National Trust is encouraging Britons to experience a world of autumn colour by visiting the global gardens on their doorstep as the seasonal spectacle gets set to tumble across the country over the coming weeks.

After last year’s drought, a dry start to the year and prolonged, warm temperatures in June, much of the country soaked up the long-awaited rain over the summer months which came as a welcome relief for not just trees, but also for Britain’s wildlife.

Andy Jasper, head of gardens and parklands at the National Trust, said: “This year’s wet summer weather has helped buck the trend of recent dry summers, so our plants and trees finally had a chance to hydrate and are now gearing up for a dazzling show of reds, ambers, yellows and browns this autumn.

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“While most of September has felt like summer’s last hurrah, we’re likely to see a fantastic show of colour spill across the country as soon as temperatures start to drop, making it the perfect time to go out and take in the wealth of autumnal beauty the UK has to offer.

Cycling at Wallington, NorthumberlandCycling at Wallington, Northumberland
Cycling at Wallington, Northumberland

“I would urge everyone to take some time, as often as they can, to go out and enjoy nature as it seeks to wrap us in a warm blanket of beautiful colours. Whether it is a weekend out with the family or ten minutes during a lunch break, there has never been a better time to go out and be enchanted by nature.”

The autumn spectacle is set to start in Scotland, where temperatures typically drop the fastest, followed by the North East of England with a domino effect cascading down the rest of the UK.

Pamela Smith, senior national consultant for gardens and parklands at the National Trust, said: “The 222 gardens we care for form one of the greatest collections of cultivated plants in the world including maples from Japan, swamp cypresses from the United States and the horse chestnut which originates from Greece. It’s no surprise that a walk around our gardens can be a truly global, botanical adventure.

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“This autumn, as we welcome back the colours of autumn from the butter yellow of Lime trees to the deep ruby reds of many of our Maples, it is worth thinking about the origins of many of our plants and the plant collecting and breeding innovation that has created so many of our autumn colour trees and shrubs we enjoy today.”

The China Pond in autumn at Wallington, NorthumberlandThe China Pond in autumn at Wallington, Northumberland
The China Pond in autumn at Wallington, Northumberland

Northumberland is home to many National Trust parks including Cragside, in Rothbury, which is set to immerse visitors in one of their garden’s first autumn experiences with the swathes of amber in the beech woodland.

There’s also Wallington Hall in Morpeth, the Farne Islands, Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, Lindisfarne Castle and Seaton Delaval Hall, all set to show their unique charms over autumn.

Luke Barley, national trees and woodland adviser at the National Trust, said: “Throughout September and into this month we’ve been able to enjoy the sight of our hedgerows hanging heavy with fruits such as hawthorn berries, sloes, elderberries and blackberries.

“This is of course great news for wildlife such as over-wintering birds such as redwings, fieldfares and blackbirds, as well as for animals such as hedgehogs and badgers.”