STAFF at Batsford Arboretum are gearing up for another outstanding display of colour this autumn.

The prolonged dry period throughout last winter and early this spring, along with the recent incredibly wet summer, have put the collection of 1,600 trees and woody plants under incredible stress.

But if the conditions are right, it could lead to amazing autumn colour.

Head gardener Matthew Hall said the past three months had been very trying for staff and visitors.

He said: “The incredibly wet summer means the trees have put on a huge amount of growth during the summer months after a period of stress last winter and early this spring when trees suffered from the dry weather.

“The extra growth spurt means the trees have built up more sugars in their leaves, so if the weather is right, with warm days, cool nights and light winds, we should be in for a really good autumn.

“We truly believe we’re in for a showstopping autumn in the arboretum, particularly from the stars of the show – the Japanese maple collection.”

The arboretum is open daily from 10am to 4.45pm.

For details, call 01386 701441.