From a distance it looked very autumnal as the leaves appeared to have started to turn. Up close we realized it was actually the horse chestnut tree leaves that were brown and damaged, caused by a leaf mining moth. It looks quite dramatic but it seems to happen late in the growing season so doesn't actually damage the tree and they'll grow new leaves again next spring.
|All of the horse chestnut leaves seemed to be damaged|
There are some stunning horse chestnuts growing around the edge of the spring. They tower over you when you're in the bottom and seem to reach up forever. We could have done with wearing hard hats as we stood underneath them, as the conkers were falling out of the trees every few minutes.
There were hundreds, probably thousands, of conkers all over the floor of the spring. There's something very exciting about collecting conkers, looking for the biggest and shiniest ones, cracking open the spiky cases of any that are still intact and stuffing your pockets full.
It seemed like almost all of the conkers had a bite out of them It looked like something (squirrels maybe) had taken a bite, not liked the taste and moved onto another one to try.
There was no water running through the spring, although it felt quite damp in places. I was expecting to find lots of fungi, but all we managed to find was a couple of pretty little fungi or slime moulds growing under some logs.
There were plenty of millipedes and slugs hiding under the logs.
The fields around the spring had been ploughed so we had a quick look for treasure, finding a couple of bits of pottery.
We were just commenting that there were hardly any butterflies around this autumn when a small white and a small heath dashed past us and disappeared into the distance. Lovely to see, but they didn't stick around for a photo.