It seems that one minute you’re eating ice cream and trying to keep your flip-flops on, and the next, the leaves are turning, the hedgerows are ripe with berries and the first wood smoke is spotted curling from chimneys. That’s right: autumn has arrived!
Autumn is a fabulous time to be in the Lakes. The crowds have diminished a little, the hotspots have plenty of parking spaces. The long shadows accentuate every crag and knoll on the fells, the mist settles atmospherically in the valleys, and cotton wool clouds crown the highest mountains.
In today’s hyper connected world, it’s very easy to breeze past some of the simple things that, if we were to be more mindful of, would bring us pleasure and health benefits.
This autumn, the Forestry Commission have teamed up with mental health charity Mind to raise awareness of the health benefits of connecting with our beautiful forests and woodlands as a way of awakening our senses and becoming more self-aware and mindful.
Sight is our dominant sense and a walk in an autumn wood greets us with a large blaze of oranges, reds and yellows, all of which are uplifting colours. They stimulate the mind and are associated with vitality, optimism and joy. And as we trudge along a carpet of leaves, whether we’re chattering away with friends or chasing little ones, it doesn’t take long until you start kicking your feet through piles of leaves in complete delight. The rustling sound, sense of fun and beautiful damp, earthy smell that is released is undoubtedly energising. You start to breath deeper breaths and taste the cooler, moist air.