Sunday 7th November 2021
Eleven families took part in this very successful event, led by Richmond Park’s own fungus expert, Janet Bostock, and Monique Sarkany. We met in Sheen Gate car park where the children were introduced to the mysterious Fungi Kingdom, and the hidden part they play in everyday life.
Then, armed with some facts, a notebook, pencil and a small magnifying glass, everyone headed for Two Storm Wood to see what fungi they could discover – with many stops en route to examine specimens on tree stumps and fallen branches. On entering the wood, Monique gave each child an ingenious little folded guide to varieties of fungi she had made, and a tiny bell to ring whenever they came across anything of interest. It was all great fun – in fact, I believe some of us could have stayed there all day!
Here are some photos:
What are Fungi?
Fungi are Nature’s recyclers and Autumn is the season when they are at their best!
Richmond Park’s most ancient trees are home to some rare fungi and over 400 species in all. They are a crucial part of the Park’s ecology and an essential source of food and habitat for some animals and insects. This is why they should be left undisturbed and not removed from the Park.
Did you know?
- A honey fungus in the USA is the world’s largest organism. It covers 3½ square miles (that’s about 9 square km.) and is thousands of years old
- There are over 1½ million species of fungus
- Some are important in medicine e.g. in the production of antibiotics
- A fungus is an essential ingredient in bread and beer-making
Fungi have some amazing names
- Chicken of the Woods
- Beefsteak fungus
- Jelly ear
- Yellow Brain
- King Alfred’s cakes
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