Gather ye conkers while ye may

Step out and have a look at your local conker trees… if you live in England or Wales you may be surprised at what you see. Some of them look like they are shedding their leaves prematurely.

Horse chestnuts, Ryde, Isle of Wight
Can you spot the horse chestnut trees?
The picture above, taken down the road from Ranger Towers, shows clearly the brown colour of the chestnuts highlighted against the healthy green of the ash in between. So what’s to blame? Are they simply dropping their leaves early, in some new climate-change related phenomenon?

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