News article created on 12 October 2020

Enjoy natural spectacle this autumn on Black Country canals

We are predicting a particularly dramatic display of autumn colours over the next few weeks and there is nowhere better to experience this free natural spectacle than along the Black Country’s canals.

Autumn boating Autumn boating

A spectular display

A walk or cycle along the Dudley, New Main Line, Old Main Line and the Walsall canals, which are now part of the newly created UNESCO Global Geopark for the Black Country, is an ideal way to experience the changing seasons.

The summer weather in the Midlands has included plenty of sunshine, with just enough rain to keep foliage growing and with a mild and calm September, leaves have remained on the trees ready for a spectacular autumnal display.

An amazing place for a local escape

Paul Wilkinson, our senior ecologist, explains: “We’ve had the right conditions for an amazing natural display this autumn. Over the summer it’s been warm and dry, with enough rain showers here and there to keep everything growing. As long as the weather remains calm and mild, we should see a gorgeous display of leaf colour this year, from the reds of wild cherry to lemon yellow of ash trees. Look out for the fruit too, the dark blue of sloe berries against yellow leaves and the scarlet rose hips, beaming light beacons as the light gets lower.

“Our canals in the Black Country are really special places. At over 200 years old they tell the story of the region and how, thanks to the canals, local towns came to thrive during the Industrial Revolution.

"Today our canals are widely appreciated as the most amazing spaces for a local escape, with those in the Black Country now recognised as part of the new UNESCO Geopark, which marks them out as being some of the most important geological sites in the World. This time of year, is a great time to unwind down by your local canal and experience the wealth of heritage, wildlife and health benefits of being next to water.”