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Autumn walks prove popular with ‘leaf peeper’ Brits

Few things surpass a nice autumnal walk

Do you love heading off for an autumn tour and seeing the wonderful colours of the season?

If so, you’re not alone, as new research, commissioned by the National Trust, has revealed that Britain is becoming a nation of “leaf peepers”.

A YouGov poll found that 30 per cent of adults consider the wonderful hues on display at this time of year to be their favourite part of autumn, with other activities, including walking and cycling also proved popular (13 per cent). 

Appreciation of autumn’s colours also beat the run-up to Christmas, bonfire night and Halloween, amongst other things.

When people are out for walks, the shades of autumn prove unmissable, with 73 per cent saying they notice the changes throughout the season – 37 per cent said they took considerable notice.

The impact of the previous 18 months is also visible, with 28 per cent now saying they pay more attention to trees now than they did before lockdown.

However, while we may love seeing the shades on offer this time of year, autumn still only received 22 per cent of the vote when it came to picking our favourite season, with summer and spring receiving 32 per cent and 26 per cent respectively. Winter came bottom, getting only nine per cent.

Celia Richardson, Director of Communications and Audience at the National Trust said: “These findings show that people have a real love and appreciation of trees and of the natural sights of autumn – particularly enjoying how our trees change from the brilliant greens of summer to the vibrant reds, oranges, yellows and russet of the autumn colour palette.”  

“We can see that people are still saying they are closer to nature than they were before the pandemic began and we hope it’s here to stay.  Connecting with nature is good for our health and wellbeing and makes people more likely to act to protect the natural world.”  

The National Trust is encouraging people to help raise money for future tree planting by setting up the virtual ‘Move for trees’ campaign. This invites people to cover 50km this October, with every £5 they raise going towards planting a new sapling – this, in turn, could remove 1 tonne of CO2 from the air over its lifetime. You can find out more here.

Image courtesy of National Trust Images and Peter Katic

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These findings show that people have a real love and appreciation of trees and of the natural sights of autumn