The lovely autumn colours of 2018 are beginning to fade, as the leaves continue to fall. This is one of my favourite times of the year. The last week of October and the first week of November see the climax of the autumn in Northumberland before the days become ever shorter and the landscape changes into the more subdued colours of winter. This view looks across the North Tyne valley near Bellingham, towards Callerhues Crags, with the Hesleyside woods in the foreground, and is in the 2019 Seasons of Northumberland calendar. I’ve heard rumours of a cold winter ahead and am looking forward to some fine frosty days after this very mild autumn. This weekend I’ll be at the Christmas Fair at The Sill on Hadrian’s Wall, the National Landscape Discovery Centre – hope to see you there!
The autumn season this year has been magnificent. A long, sunny spell of weather, followed by some colder days, and not much wind, has kept the leaves on the trees for longer than normal, and the colours seem to have peaked a few days later than average. Northumberland National Park often looks at its best late in the year when the low angled sun catches the gold, yellow and warm brown colours of the hills, and the wooded valleys are filled with autumn colour. This image shows the dazzling colours of a bright November day in the Tarset valley near Greenhaugh and Bellingham.
Here is an autumn view for the Seasons of Northumberland calendar 2017, showing the rich autumn colours at Donkleywood in the North Tyne valley, in the heart of Northumberland National Park. The North Tyne river flows from the Scottish border into Kielder Water, and then on towards Bellingham and Wark, to join the South Tyne near Hexham. The valley is also a buffer zone for the endangered red squirrel, which is threatened by the advance of American grey squirrels. Kielder Forest is a stronghold for red squirrels, which thrive in the coniferous trees across this vast area.