Lack of tints hints at a later autumn

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Autumn could be arriving later this year, experts said after receiving fewer reports of ripe berries and turning leaves than by the same time last year.

The Woodland Trust’s Nature’s Calendar project, which gathers records of the changing seasons from members of the public, says sightings of ripe brambles and blackthorn are both down around four-fifths on this time last year.

There have been just 17 reports of beech trees changing colour, compared to 302 for the same time last year, and only six reports of the first tinting of oak leaves, (125 at this point in 2011).

Silver birches also appear to be turning later, with 35 reports of leaves changing colour compared to 313 this time last year.

And there has been just one sighting of winter visitor the fieldfare, whereas there were a dozen sightings by the same date in 2011.

The trust said the arrival of autumn colour varies from year to year, but suggested autumn was getting later as warmer temperatures mean trees grew for longer.