Have you noticed leaves changing colour and dropping from the trees? Or thought that it seems a little early to be seeing blackberries?

It’s not just you, following the high temperatures and drought across the country we are now thought to be experiencing what is called a “false autumn.”

Leaves are changing to their autumn colours and dropping early due to the trees being stressed from the lack of water. They are doing what they can to be able to survive the drought conditions. While this will help the older trees, it means that younger ones are more likely to die. It has been said that trees have been losing leaves almost 2 months early because of the hotter weather.

Berries are also appearing on plants and shrubs much earlier which isn’t good news for the wildlife that relies on them throughout autumn and into the winter months.

Birds will pick their berries carefully depending on how ripe they are to ensure that they have a food supply throughout the winter. The earlier the berries ripen could mean less food availability when they need it most.

It also means that animals such as dormice may not be able to find enough food to build up body fat reserves in preparation for hibernation.

The wildlife in the UK is not adapted to these extremes of weather and the knock-on effects like this are going to cause problems for them further down the line as well.

Seeing these effects of climate change is concerning and makes you wonder if enough is being done (and quickly enough) before it gets much worse?