A Chilterns calendar: October 2020

OCTOBER has been a spectacular month in the Chilterns – and you have been sharing some of your favourite images of local landscapes and wildlife during that time.

With Autumnwatch back on our screens and the woods ablaze with colour, families across the area have been getting outdoors at every opportunity to make the most of the seasonal spectacle.

FALLING LEAVES: a bench in Penn Wood PICTURE: Andrew Knight

And with half the country under strict lockdown restrictions, the natural world continues to provide a vital escape from the stresses and strains of mask wearing and social distancing – and for many, an absolutely essential boost to mental health.

WOODLAND WANDER: Hervines Park in Amersham PICTURE: Lucy Parks
COLOUR CONTRASTS: a footpath in Amersham PICTURE: Sue Craigs Erwin

But which sights, sounds and smells best sum up the spirit of the month for you? We asked fellow Beyonders to help us expand our selection of favourite pictorial memories of the past month for our online Chilterns calendar and the response was rapid and generous, as you can see.

LIGHT AND SHADE: Brush Hill near Princes Risborough PICTURE: Anne Rixon

This October was perhaps most memorable for its astonishing array of fungi – like these colourful but toxic fly agaric toadstools in Penn Woods (above) – prompting our appeal for help in identifying some of the less obvious local species.

TOXIC TOADSTOOL: fly agarics in Penn Wood PICTURE: Andrew Knight
MUSHROOM MAGIC: fungi flourishing at Whiteleaf Woods PICTURE: Anne Rixon

It’s been a month of ripe berries and falling fruit, of eager foraging for humans and rich pickings for birds, insects and mammals, with trees and bushes bursting with tasty treats.

In kitchens across the Chilterns, pots and pans have been bubbling with jams and jellies, crumbles and preserves. Windows have been steamed up as cooks have dusted off their recipes for rosehip syrup, sweet chestnut stuffing or crab apple jelly.

RIPE FOR THE PICKING: rosehips can make tasty syrup PICTURE: Olivia Rzadkiewicz

The rich, rapidly-changing colours and glorious textures of October make it a favourite with photographers, especially deep in the woods where the green, yellow and russet hues contrast so beautifully with the rugged outlines of ancient bark.

COUNTRY CROSSROADS: footpaths meet at Latimer PICTURE: Sue Craigs Erwin

If the feature proves popular, it could be a regular monthly item, building into a year-round collection of shots capturing some of the natural wonders of our amazing landscape, like this stunning shot highlighted in our Picture of the Week feature.

SUNSET SILHOUETTE: stags locking horns at Grangelands PICTURE: Anne Rixon

If you have a picture or two you would like us to feature, drop us a line by email to editor@thebeyonder.co.uk, join us in our Facebook group or contact us on Twitter @TheBeyonderUK.

Let us know a little bit about where the picture was taken and make sure you include your full name for the picture credit.

FUNGI IN FOCUS: mushrooms in Whiteleaf Woods PICTURE: Anne Rixon
WATERLOGGED: the River Thame flood plain at Aylesbury PICTURE: Ron Adams