BBC Countryfile Magazine readers have crowned Embleton Bay their beach of the year.
More than 56,000 readers voted in the poll that saw the Northumberland beach, which has been cared for by the National Trust since 1961, win the beach of the year category.
View of Dunstanburgh Castle from the north West The view shows the sand dunes on Embleton Beach in evening sunlight with the ruins of the 14th century stronghold visible in the distance. Credit: National Trust Images/Joe Cornish
Gwen Potter is the National Trust ranger for Ceredigion in Wales. Looking after coast and countryside, Gwen sees autumn colour across a range of landscapes; here she describes why autumn is her favourite time of year for exploring the landscape.
Autumn for me bursts with colour and life. It’s the best time of year to see and feel nature and wildlife at its most spectacular, but it’s also a time of change and reflection.
Walking during the autumn is like nothing else. Wood smoke mixes with the leaves to create that beautiful, familiar smell. It’s cooler than summer, but not cold. You could get a misty morning with those damp smells or a clear, crisp day when everything is brighter.
In the hills and heaths, the heather is bright purple. The paths are full of blackberries, damsons and sloes.
In the woods, the trees start to turn every shade of red and yellow imaginable. Leaves can be caught as they fall (number 33 on 50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾!) and every leaf tells a story – the caterpillar munching it, the micro-moth burrowing in it, the lichen on the stalk or shrivelled gall from a solitary wasp.