Autumn bursts into colour at Wakehurst Place

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Enjoy a spectacular show of autumn colours at Wakehurst Place, Kew's country estate in the heart of the West Sussex countryside.

Special Autumn Colour Weekends are being organised at the 500-acre estate near Haywards Heath to enable people to make the most of nature's dazzling display, with guided walks, minibus tours and an information stall.

Highlights around the estate include red-leafed maples, amber sweetgums, and the golden yellows of Wakehurst's national collection of birches.

And as well as the sights of autumn, there are also the smells -  Cercidiphyllum japonicum, known as the Candy Floss tree, is a big hit with visitors because of its distinctive smell of burnt sugar.

This year’s relatively dry summer should help to make the autumn colours stronger.
Andy Jackson, Head of Wakehurst Place, said, "Wakehurst is renowned for its autumn colours and visitors will be able to enjoy a fantastic array of seasonal shades.”

With thousands of trees around the Wakehurst estate, that also means mountains of leaves for gardeners to clear up when the autumn show is over. Every autumn the Wakehurst team clear around 200 cubic metres of fallen leaves, all of which are composted, so that they can be recycled and ploughed back into the gardens.

The programme of events for Autumn Colour Weekends will include guided walks and minibus tours, on some dates, to enable less mobile visitors to enjoy the colours around Wakehurst's gardens and woodlands. Details as follows:

Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17 2010: Guided walks at 11.30am and 2pm
Saturday, October 23: Guided walks at 11:30am and 2:00pm
Sunday, October 24:  Minibus tours from 10:00am to 3:30pm
Saturday, October 30: Guided walks at 11.30am and 2pm
Sunday, October 31: Minibus tours from 10:00am to 3:30pm
Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7: Guided walks at 11:30 and 2:00pm

Admission is payable, walks and mini-bus tours are free to garden visitors, no pre-booking required.

Wakehurst Place is home to formal gardens, natural woodlands, nature reserves and a Sixteenth century mansion; plus the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild seed collection in the world. Wakehurst is located on the B2028 between Ardingly and Turners Hill, West Sussex (Junction 10 off the M23) and open daily from 10am, except December 24 and 25.  For more information check out the website or call 01444 894067.

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