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I’ve just had a lovely long weekend. It’s been the first weekend for a while that Wellyman has been free (he’s doing an OU degree) so we made the most of the beautiful autumn sunshine and went to the National Arboretum at Westonbirt on Friday. I felt a little guilty knowing there was a lot to do on the plot and in the garden and that I should probably be making the most of the good weather to tackle all those jobs but the jobs will get done at some point.

Westonbirt is on the southern edge of the Cotswolds between Cirencester and Bath. It is famous for the Autumn colours on display at the moment and this year is playing host to the BBC’s Autumnwatch programme.

There are 2 main sections allowing you to cover one section, grab a spot of lunch and then do the next section. There is one of the finest collections of Japanese Maples in the UK, some beautiful pines and some fascinating fungi.

I love trees, in fact I have been known to hug a tree. I find it fascinating that under the bark, in the trunk there is so much going on that we can’t see; water being pumped from the roots to the very tallest of branches, energy created in the leaves moving around the plant and slowly the tree getting fatter and taller. I love looking at the bark, staring into all the tiny cracks and crevices that provide homes to an incredible number of creatures. Oak trees can support over 400 invertebrate species.

The autumn light on the trees was amazing, some trees looked as if they were ablaze.

I also took the opportunity to collect some Acer seeds and Sweet Chestnuts and I’m going to try growing both of them from seed, following my Sorbus seedling success from last year. I’ll leave you with a few more photos from glorious Westonbirt. For more information visit the Forestry Commission’s website.