Autumn colours have been especially rich this year and seem to have lingered longer with no significant die back until late November, when a few sharp frosts did their work and hastened final leaf fall. Oak leaves, pictured, were the last to flutter earthwards.

Watching the Sunday memorial service at the cenotaph revealed that trees lining Whitehall were still in leaf compared with two decades ago when they would have been bare. So, climate change is probably responsible for a prolonged autumn.

Moreover, the season has been especially wet which encouraged a wealth of fungi of many species to flourish. Walking through light oak and birch woodland one mid-November I came across many spectacular fly agarics thrusting through fallen leaves, the classic toadstool and stuff of many a fairytale, often depicted with a pixie or elf perched on top of the white spotted red cap.

Emerging from the rigours of the recent rut, deer are exhausted and rest among swathes of fading bracken, their winter coate blending in perfectly with the russet tones of surrounding vegetation, with only the antlers of red stags and fallow bucks to be seen above, pinpointing where they si , so well camouflaged within the sward.