It has been a magical month and a half of fine weather over the UK. Sunny days, cold nights, sometimes beautiful sunsets. The autumn colours have lasted this year thanks to light winds. Now the 'grey time' begins during November – skeleton trees stripped of leaf and life stand desolate... fallen and faded colours clog up drains to cause large puddles ... long days of incessant rain and drizzle commence. A grey month and a prelude to the 'white time' of winter.
So let's celebrate Nature's autumn gift. A last splash of colour to sustain us through the dark nights ahead when the urban forest threatened to swamp the city and all you could see from any hillside was an ocean of multicoloured trees lapping against the buildings.
What would any city look like without its cloak of trees to cheer us up? The Great Wood of Caledon is not to be found up north in the wilds but in the Scottish towns and cities, in parks, along canals and railways, by the side of roads, in gardens and open spaces.
Taken together, a vast deciduous urban forest stretching for many miles left by previous generations and a great legacy we almost take for granted today. A treasure of our age. Trees gathered from every corner of the planet in many cases by the Victorians and only coming to full maturity now.
And we certainly should treasure them. Forests were here long before our arrival and they may yet witness our end.