As the first relatively mini autumnal gale and squally showers begin to rip leaves off the trees, I reflect on the fact that even ten and certainly twenty years ago trees shed their leaves much earlier, before climate change took hold.

This has been clearly demonstrated on Remembrance Sunday over the past three or four years where trees lining Whitehall still retain foliage whereas two decade ago those same trees would have been stripped bare by early November.

I'm watching a pair of crows being tossed about in a young gale like black plastic bags while gulls wheel about trying to maintain equilibrium.

Walking through woods, conkers and acorns are dislodged by the wind and patter down all around me.

As the days shorten and temperatures fall much of the natural world begins to shut down for the winter although foxes(pictured) are entering their most active period of the year and their wow-wow-wow barking echoes around especially on clear frosty nights when sound travels further.

In severe weather earthworms dive deeper so badgers foxes and birds cannot access them easily. Birds are sporting smart new plumage and a few species have paired off in readiness for next spring.

Fish become less active now and seek deeper holes where temperatures remain a few degrees higher.

Hedgehogs and bats hibernate although the latter may awake and hunt on mild evenings. Squirrels don't hibernate but may retire to their dreys if snow falls. Frogs toads and newts are in hibernation under logs and in crevices while male frogs stay at the bottom of ponds in a semi-torpid state to await the arrival of females next spring.