FUNGI FORAY WITH VERONICA
Saturday 7 th October 2006
For this month's activity, the theme was Fungi. Everywhere we look we see many species of fungi sprouting up on these cooler damper days of Autumn when all the plants and leaves begin to die back for another year. The decaying vegetation along with dead wood are excellent food for fungi.
Today, we had a guest Fungi expert with us called Veronica Youngson, who agreed to come along and help identify our woodland finds.
We started in the classroom with Veronica showing everyone an impressive display of fungi identification books. She explained that there are thousands of different species, all belonging to various family groups, which develop in different types of woodland.
Broadleaf woodlands are host to certain species whilst in Coniferous woodland different species develop.
Veronica explained the names of the different parts of a fungi and explained how the different species of fungi develop.
It was also made clear that though some fungi could be eaten, there were ones which could be deadly poisonous and best to leave well alone.
We all set off for the woodlands to find some fungi treasure. It wasn't long before everyone was calling for Veronica to identify their finds. The children were excited to find more and more species and there were cries of 'Veronica, Veronica, I've found another one!'
Veronica was very patient with the children, and just as enthusiastic over their finds as they were. Besides identifying the different species, she had many snippets of information and tales to tell of their connections in history.
We gathered many different species in a tray to take back to the classroom for a closer inspection under the microscopic camera.
It is planned that Jan with Veronica's help will put together an Ogden Fungi Identification booklet for the classroom. This will be created from the photo's taken of the different species found on our foray, along with named identification and any other additional information.All the children (and parents) had an informative and enjoyable Fungi Foray Session!