Hello October – Rhiannon Bates, Yorkshire regional reporter and Director of Garnet PR
“Listen! The wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” – Humbert Wolfe
October really heralds the start of Autumn. It’s also our favourite month in my business Garnet PR. If September is a second January, filled with reflection, ideas and planning, October is filled with action.
It’s arguably the most transitional month of the year; personally, professionally and in the countryside.
The trees begin to change into their best colourful dresses ready for one last hurrah before their winter slumber. The stars twinkle a little earlier and brighter in the darker nights, and the scent of woodsmoke becomes commonplace drifting across the evening air.
Promises of Halloween fun, cosy weekends in front of the fire, chunky knits and wrapped up Sunday walks are never far away. The pathway to winter burns bright and welcoming in all its beauty, a gentle meander into the colder season to come. And I think we all need some reassuring comfort this year!
In the natural world, many see October as a changeover month. The vast majority of visiting summer birds have migrated south to the warmth of Africa, and winter birds from Europe will soon be on their way to our shores.
They flock in to enjoy the abundance of ripe fruit and nuts the countryside offers at this time of year, arriving just in time for their hedgerow buffet and feasting furiously ahead of the colder, sparser months ahead.
If birds are your thing, some of the first to arrive are beautiful redwings that can often be heard on cold clear still nights in the country, calling as they fly in overhead. If you are lucky enough to live in a rural location, wander outside, take a few minutes to look up at the night sky and listen out for the high pitched whistles of these fabulous birds announcing their arrival. The other thrush to look out for at this time of year is the larger but equally lovely fieldfare, that arrives along with the redwings.
Coastal areas are always high on bird watchers agendas and autumn is a great time for a visit to the north Norfolk coast with its many and varied nature reserves along its coastline. Or you could head to the north of Scotland to see seal pups, pupping season spreads down the east coast of England through October and November and is a lovely sight to see, so if you don’t fancy heading that far north you can wait for them to come a bit closer!
Conkers adorn the trees and often the ground in early October, shining tantalisingly, almost calling you to gather them and relive childhood fun with a conker fight. But did you know, they are considered to have an incredibly useful purpose according to an old wives’ tale, that many will welcome with open arms at this time of year?
If you keep them dotted around the house they are thought to repel spiders, which are also starting to make their presence known more frequently as we head into autumn. There’s no scientific evidence to support this, but I know a few people who certainly sleep a little easier with conkers in their houses at this time of year!
Eat the seasons
Key ingredients: Apples, root vegetables and hazelnuts (if you can beat the squirrels to them!).
October marks the return of hearty dinners, leisurely Sunday roasts and the last chance to forage in the hedgerows. Sloes are also almost ready, but be sure to wait until after the first frost to start gathering.
Wild foraging is one of life’s great pleasures and a real joy of slow-living. Gather your friends and family, throw something tasty in the slow cooker, turn off your phone and head out for a few hours wandering the country lanes.
Don’t forget to thank Mother Nature for her gifts of abundance, and never take more than you need, the local wildlife will thank you for it.
While summer BBQs may be behind us, I truly believe now we enter the real ‘summer’ or highlight of the British countryside. May your October be filled with wild adventures, success, and more than a hint of magic…
Regional Reporter - Yorkshire
Rhiannon is the driving force behind Garnet PR, a boutique agency specialising in business, mindset and PR coaching for rural & luxury lifestyle & leisure businesses, and well as Public Relations services for female coaches and entrepreneurs. With more than a decade of experience in global public relations, celebrity & influencer management, international charities (including Woodland Trust, ZSL London Zoo and Dogs Trust) & award-winning communications agencies, as well as mentoring and coaching, Rhiannon, left the big smoke of London behind in 2017, embracing her rural roots and moved to a little village in Yorkshire in 2017. She hasn't looked back and is now owned by a tiny but demanding Cavapoo puppy, Teddy, rides horses as much as she can and is a total advocate for escaping to the country. Along with her epic team, she helps female business owners, coaches and entrepreneurs to show up and shine; supporting them to get clarity, confidence and coverage in the press and to build a business and life they love.