Monday 17th October 2016: The Kingdom of the Fungi

Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers met in October to discover more about ‘The Kingdom of the Fungi’. The session started with children creating a giant fly agaric collage – each white spot on the red cap of the fungus featuring an environmentally -themed wish for the future composed by each child.

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All the Explorers also made little fungi treasure pots to take home, decorated to look like the most exotic toadstools!

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Children dissected different types of mushroom to learn more about the structure of the different families of fungi and Leader Martin also demonstrated beautifully how the iconic fly agaric gets it’s white spots (using a balloon and a tissue). The group had lots of fun playing games to help learn the names of the parts of fungi and some of the more unusual names that we have given these amazing living things.  Candlesnuff, Jelly Ear, Monkey’s Head and Stinkhorn are all names of real fungi species.

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Fungi are a very much overlooked part of our everyday lives. We employ fungi in a wide range of industrial processes, from using some fungi as a source of enzymes for washing powders through to using yeast in brewing beer and bread making. Fungi also play a huge role in ecosystems, helping to break down rotting matter and recycle nutrients.

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Everyone had great time learning more about these incredible organisms.

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