October signals the start of autumn and the leaves are turning adding colour to the Park. Look out for the bright yellow of aspen leaves, which makes it a good time of year to spot these uncommon native trees. Ash keys hang in big bunches turning from yellow to brown and oak, rowan, hazel and elm leaves display a variety of yellows, reds and oranges. Acorns and hazel nuts are ripening and rose hips and sloes (blackthorn berries) are in the hedges.
Red squirrels are often seen in woodlands at this time of year as the leaves fall and they are active collecting and storing food for the winter.
Roe deer are also often seen in and around woodlands. They are the only deer in the National Park that are present in any number (there are some fallow deer in Billlsmoor Park, Simonside). They are medium sized deer (up to 75cm to the shoulder) with a large black nose and white rump usually seen as they bound away.
Fungi continue to be present in a variety of forms and colours around the Park. Migrant birds are arriving and passing through the skies – look out particularly for skeins of geese.
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