Watch out for wildlife on your walk home from school

Girl collecting autumn leaves
Your walk home from a school is a great time to collect your favourite leaves! (Photo: WTML/John Chase)

Keeping your eyes peeled while walking a regular route is a great way to connect with the changing seasons. Instead of rushing home from school every day, take some time to look up at the trees and peek into hedges. You might be surprised how much wildlife you find...

And if you travel on the bus, or by car, you'll see lots of signs of autumn just by looking out of the window. 

Here's our list of things to spot.

Turning leaves

Look up at the trees you pass by. Are any of the leaves tinged with yellow or rusty brown yet? How many are on the ground? Before too long you’ll be kicking your way through carpets of dried autumn leaves. Collect your favourites and identify them with our popular leaf ID sheet.

Fascinating fungi

In autumn, all sorts of weird and wonderful fungi start sprouting all over the place due to the damp weather. Look carefully at the base of trees, in bits of dead wood, in old walls and on grass verges to see if you can spot any.

Our fungi ID will help you work out what they are. Remember: some fungi are poisonous so look but don’t touch!

Bright berries

Brambly hedges are full of blackberries at this time of year, but there are plenty of other berries around too, in gardens and parks as well as in the countryside. Look out for orange-red rowan berries; clusters of tiny, purple-black elderberries; bright red holly berries; and fat rosehips. Our fruits and seeds ID will help you identify them, but don’t eat any to be on the safe side!

Spreading seeds

As autumn approaches, lots of plants are turning to seed. Look out for whirly helicopter seeds from field maple trees, plants with little dry pods ready to pop, and sticky seeds that get attached to your clothes. Have fun playing our match the seeds game. And if you pass any horse chestnut trees on your way home, you might be lucky enough to find some champion conkers!

Foraging creatures

Animals and birds are really active at this time of year. They’re busy foraging for all the yummy fruits and seeds in preparation for the long winter ahead. Look out for squirrels scampering about as they stock up on hazelnuts, and hungry birds pecking away at berries. If you’re lucky, you may see a flock of swallows lined up on telephone wires ahead of their long flight to warmer climes.

Made an exciting discovery?

Remember to tell us about your sightings and post pictures on our Facebook page, or on Instagram or Twitter using #NatureDetectives. Your family can also record your autumn sightings on our Nature's Calendar website. The information we collect from people all over the country helps us learn more about how our changing climate affects the seasons.

What have you spotted?

comments powered by Disqus