The Heart of Autumn

The cold wind moans, cracking the bones of the ash trees that edge the garden. I close the stiff latch on the gate and walk down the path, watching leaves dart to the ground to form inelegant splodges of yellow. Although the afternoon has barely begun, the sky is stained with darkness, clouds rolling in above the hedges of the bridleway at the far end of the adjoining field. I’m frozen for a moment as I spot a hare spring from a gap in the fence. Even though I recognise him as a resident of this patch of land, I don’t expect to see him in the eye of the storm, and my breath catches until my fingers nip.

He’s not the only tenant around here. Fiercely decorated male pheasants stalk for seeds and grain in the tall grasses that separate the agricultural land from the domestic. Their echoing cok-cok reverberates around the valley until a farm vehicle thunders by, and they screech through the tree-tops to escape the mechanical movements.

Autumn marks the end of the harvest, but the start of the farming year. It is the season of great flux, of colours, temperatures and daylight hours; perhaps the most obvious change, though, is that of the trees. Find out more about how these natural wonders communicate, explore their importance in wild education and discover how they inspire creativity in the latest issue of the magazine.

You’ll find other roots in this issue too: those of friendship, of landscape and connection and of home. Don’t miss an exploration of how we can reconnect with our roots too, or go back in time to discover the history and mystery of a Cumbrian icon.

I hope you enjoy the season ahead.

This is an extract from the editor’s note for issue 5. To buy a copy of the magazine, visit our online shop (please note orders placed from now until October 8th will not be posted until Tuesday 9th).

AutumnEleanor Cheetham