Awesome autumn along our canals and rivers

Autumn is just around the corner and with scrunching leaves and vibrant views our canals and rivers are perfect places to visit as a family, so head outdoors and see how many of these awesome autumn activities you can complete.

Family in autumn Family in autumn

1. Pick wild blackberries

Foraging along our canals and rivers is a wonderful way to add a sense of adventure to your day and its great fun for kids too! If you find some ripe and ready blackberries, then give our recipe for blackberry mess a go. It's a scrumptious pudding that doesn’t need any cooking, or if you’re feeling more adventurous cook up some chutney – delicious!

2. Hunt for treasures such as feathers or shiny conkers

One of the best things about autumn is searching for conkers – the seed of the horse chestnut tree. Look for them along towpaths and riverbanks then use our Killer Conkers activity to organise a family conker tournament. If conkers aren’t your thing look for feathers, start a collection and make your own mini museum.

3. Create a leaf a crown

We have around one million trees growing along our canals and rivers so lots of leaves to spare to make a crown fit for a king or queen. Collect richly coloured fallen leaves from the towpath for this easy natural craft activity - use this leaf ID sheet to identify the leaves you collect.

4. Put your wellies on and find a great big puddle

JUMP and make the biggest splash ever! Back home use the mud from your wellies to find out which plants ‘travel’ easily with our Canal Corridors experiment. Scrape the mud from the bottom of your wellies, keep it damp and watch what starts to grow. Which plants have you ‘spread’? Identify them using illustrations and books.

5. Look for some sycamore seeds and make a paper seed helicopter

Nature has designed some real high fliers! Many seeds are shaped to float, parachute, or spin away from their tree branches to settle and grow. Ash sycamore and elm all have seeds with ‘wings’ that spin like helicopter blades. Make a paper seed helicopter and investigate changing the size, shape, or angle of the wings or the weight of the seed by adding more paperclips. Who can make ‘the best’ paper helicopter?