Although the evenings are drawing in now, we have had a very fortunate autumn (although farmers may differ slightly in what they consider to be good weather for November.) The year has been unusually bright, with very few frosts, and temperatures holding slightly above-average since September. Few of us will forget the glorious sunsets that we have had in the last few days. Photography, although a useful aid to memory, is a poor substitute for the reality.
If you have not recently been for a walk around Maulden Woods, it is remains quite splendid in autumn colours although most of the leaves have fallen already. It is still worth the time taken to visit it.
All around Maulden, we have wonderful open countryside and are very lucky that local farming businesses do a fairly good job of keeping our footpath open and passable. The few that become muddy after harvest and ploughing have already become quite well trodden and passable again. This is also the season in which nettles and brambles either die back or a cutback, which makes walking a little easier.
Drinking outside at lunchtime in our local pubs is still possible, although you may need to wear a warm coat. Just because bikini season has passed, is no reason to give up the pleasure of sitting outside.
Our local village parks and SSSIs are now putting on their winter form. They may not be as spectacular, and wildlife may be harder to spot, but there are still lots of things worth getting out to sea.
There is very good evidence that communities are hugely enhanced when people leave their homes and walk about in the local area. They meet people, they can see things that need attention, and they benefit from sunshine and green spaces. It can also help put development and change into context when one can see it from many other locations.