Autumn Westonbirt

Top 8 things to try on your autumn walk in the forest

With our forests displaying a breath-taking array of colours, autumn is a beautiful season to visit the forest with your family. Hoping for some autumnal activities to do when you get here? Look no further, we have pulled together a list of the top 8 things you can to do on your autumn walk.

Autumn Westonbirt

1. Stomp through leaves 

In autumn deciduous trees lose their leaves. Try gathering as many fallen leaves as you can, and have a competition to see who can build the tallest pile. Roll, jump and play in them!

Ever wondered why leaves change colour in autumn? Uncover the science behind the changing season and discover why leaves change colour in this magical season. Try finding as many different coloured leaves as you can!

2. Look out for the weird and wonderful

Try looking for different coloured fungi on your walk.

Fungi like the damp conditions among the fallen leaves, which create a wonderful rich earthy smell in the forest. Remember they don’t all look like mushrooms and they don’t all grow on the ground – some grow on tree trunks or fallen branches. Fungi are essential to where they are found. They rot and recycle leaf litter, provide food for small animals and are great to admire.

Did you know that trees and plants talk to each other through mushrooms? Most of a mushroom's body is made up of thin threads underground. It's recently been discovered that these threads link up, acting "as a kind of underground internet", linking the roots of the trees and plants nearby and allowing them to share nutrients.  

Bedgebury Forest mushrooms and leaves autumn
Child holding pine cones

3. Become a cone collector

During the autumn, trees produce hundreds of seeds in the hope that a few will find the perfect place to land and grow into a tree. Each plant has a clever way of scattering their seeds. Some seeds and nuts will fall from the tree, some will explode from pods, some will blow away in the wind or float in water and others will be scattered by animals.

Look out for cones, nuts and seeds as you explore the forest. Have a competition to see who find the most!

4. Download the free autumn activity sheets

Inspired by and featuring characters from Room on the Broom, inside these sheets you'll find autumn activities to bring sights, sounds and smells of the forest to life.

  • Craft witchy autumn wands to capture the magic of forests
  • Explore the spectrum of autumn colours and spot them in the woods
  • Hunt for forest treasure on a Halloween scavenger hunt
  • Create forest art, inspired by nature
  • Listen to the sounds of the season, and make an autumn sound map
Autumn learning westonbirt
Child holding autumn seeds

5. Explore your senses

Autumn is a fantastic time to look, listen and reflect on the things all around you. Did you know that simply taking time to be mindful can be beneficial for children's health and wellbeing? 

Download our forest bathing activity sheet, find a quiet spot where your kids feel safe and relaxed and start practicing the art of forest bathing with our downloadable activity sheets.

6. Take photos as a family

When everything around us is more colourful and there's a lovely autumn light in the woods, it can be a great time to get some memorable snaps.

Try teaching your kids the basics of lighting and the "rule of thirds", or simply set up the timer and line up a seasonal family portrait!

Don't forget to share your autumnal photos using #AutumnLeafWatch on Twitter and Instagram or by posting them directly on to our Facebook page. We want to see how autumn captivates your senses. Photos can be landscapes, macros, portraits, selfies, wildlife - if it's autumnal, we want to see it! If it's good, you're in with a chance of winning some pretty slick prizes too.

Woman with camera taking photo in autumn
Children on Gruffalo Spotters trail

7. Calling all Gruffalo Spotters

Head out into the deep dark wood in search of the Gruffalo!

Complete fun activities and learn about each animal from the book as you follow the new interactive family trail. Download the Gruffalo Spotters 2 app and pick up a trail pack before you begin and make the most of your adventure.

Can you spot them all? Let us know and share your photos using #GruffaloSpotters.

8. Make hibernation homes 

Many animals start preparing for winter as the cooler weather descends. Creatures like toads and minibeasts look for places such as log piles and leaf litters to keep them warm and dry, and squirrels collect and hide nuts, so that they have food to eat during winter.

Can you look for somewhere you think would make a cosy, warm place for a toad or minibeast to hibernate?

Bedgebury Forest mushrooms and leaves autumn

Keep exploring

Autumn Westonbirt
14 September 2020
Looking for autumn walks near you? On our woodland and forest trails, you'll discover breath-taking forest landscapes and incredible displays of colour. Find your nearest walk with our handy guide to autumn walks, then treat your senses to the sights, smells and sounds of autumn in the forest.
Young girl playing with a bucket of autumn leaves
Family activity
29 October 2020
Download the autumn activity pack for a wonderfully colourful day out with the kids. Sign up to bring forest learning to life with our free downloadable activities! Full of seasonal things to engage your senses, you'll have hours of forest fun.
Muddy Hands Children

Sign up for Forestry England's family newsletter to be the first to receive news about the Gruffalo, free family events and other exciting forest activities.

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A road passing through Snake Woodlands on a misty day
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