If you have children of primary school age who love nature and want to learn more about Richmond Park's wildlife, the Friends of Richmond Park offers the Discoverers programme of activities.
Their last activity was on 4th November when children and their parents (and some grandparents!) focused on fungi, learning about these wonderful organisms, their beauty, uses and how they help the environment. And there were some wonderful drawings and paintings too.
Seven families, gathered at the Holly Lodge Centre on a perfect Autumn day. The session began with a lively introduction to the magical world of fungi presented by our expert, Janet Bostock.
There are over 1.5 million species, and they play a crucial role in our lives. We then explored the Nature Trail to see what we could find. Afterwards, artist Claire McCormack got everyone drawing some of the fungi specimens Janet had brought along. The idea is to encourage people to look really closely at these remarkable organisms.
A seasonal touch was added by the appearance of Rudolf, complete with luminous nose. While reindeer may not actually fly, local herdsmen in Lapland and their reindeer did get high on a 'magic mushroom' – the red and white spotted fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), producing hallucinatory experiences! Is this how Rudolf got his red nose?