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Good evening,

I was 60 feet above the ground yesterday evening interviewing the head of the arboretum at Kew Gardens on the treetop walkway.

Amongst other things we discussed the onset of autumn & the thorny issue of whether it's early this year. There's no doubt that the leaves are already starting to turn & this was very evident as I made my way around the truly spectacular walkway (all wood & metal, no maintenance & guaranteed for 200 years apparently!). It even has an open air classroom & if you have or know of any children who get the chance to go, make sure they seize it with both hands as it's an experience they'll never forget. Anyway Tony (the tree man) said that the reason autumn is already underway is because it's been a very dry summer (!) meaning the trees are more than ready to go into winter mode & begin the annual leaf drop. It turns out that the best conditions for a really good display of autumn colour are moist ground & widely contrasting daytime & nighttime temperatures.

The nights are getting chillier & it's currently reasonably mild (although not exceptionally so) by day, but with the ground being rather parched it doesn't look as though we'll be treated to an extravagant palette of leaves this year. Mind you I have been known to be wrong so watch this space....

Hope to see you later,


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