Below are a number of ideas or suggested activities that your venue could do to engage your visitors. (if not in 2020, look ahead to plan for 2021)
Walks and Talks
- Use the BMS website to look up contact details for local fungus groups – ask them over to run a walk (we sometimes these Fungus Forays) on UKFD.
- They might even help make you aware of the quality of fungi associated with your fields, lawns, trees and flower beds.
- If you’ve got an indoor place to give talks, ask someone in the fungus group, a cook or maybe a scientist from your local university to give a talk about fungi on UKFD – always handy if the weather is a bit wild.
- Commission an artist, photographer, craft maker or art society to depict fungi in their work and offer them a display space for UKFD.
- You may also find that you have a fungi illustrator living in your area – they might not be easy to find but a few Facebook appeals or Tweets might unearth them.
- Better still, you could commission an outdoor exhibition. This could be willow woven fungi, wood-carved fungi or even screen-printed fungi imagery hung up on flags. The more you think about it, the more creative you can get.
- Have you got any fungi models in your collection? These can be stunningly beautiful and superbly crafted.
- You may have fungi depicted in some of your fine art or ceramic collections too. Rarely the main focus of an artwork, depictions of toadstools often present an allegorical comment on a subject or were used as overt references to fairies, myths and shamanism.
- Mycological books from your venue’s library collection will have some stunning illustrations. Visitors may also be made aware that you have a such a collection that they can come and use.
Invite a local felt maker, wood turner, dye maker or willow weaver to depict a fungi on UKFD. Your visitors may be fascinated to watch and learn from them.
Invite a scientist from your local university to demonstrate an engaging aspect of their work into fungal science. The BMS website could help you hook up with someone.
If you have a restaurant or cafe at your venue, they might be persuaded to put on a special menu of wild fungi. The cost of some unusual edible fungi, such as shitake or penny buns, might not be as expensive as you think. These can be ordered online if you are unsure where to buy them from locally. You could also ask a cook from one of your local gastro pubs to come over and give a demonstration. It could help them to market themselves.
The BMS has some great tried and tested ideas for getting families to engage with fungi. Have a look at what might suit your venue.More information
Fungi Identification Table
Put out a table where your visitors can bring in fungal fruiting bodies that they have found in at your venue or in their own garden. The BMS has a number of affiliated local fungus groups across the UK. Invite one of their members to come to your event and assist with identification of specimens found. A list of these groups can be found at the link below. Click on the area nearest to you from the list, and contact them through either email or their own website.List of affiliated fungus groups (left hand side of page)
Create a trail especially for UKFD. You don’t have to be an expert to do this. Just walk around your land, notice where the hotspots are for fungus fruiting bodies (a particular tree, woodland floor, field, lawn or flower bed) and mark these on a map that you hand out to visitors. You’d be amazed how enlightening this can be. You could even spice it up a bit with a few fairy doors and strategically placed hand carved toadstool models.
Invite your visitors to upload a photo of a fungus that they have found on your land onto your Facebook/Instagram/Flickr page. Don’t be put off about providing precise names of all the featured fungi (although members of the BMS could help in this) - it’s more important that people go out and discover the amazing variety of colours, shapes and sizes of fungi.
Discover Beatrix Potter: Mycologist and illustrator!
Did you know that the creator behind childrens character Peter Rabbit was a renowned mycologist and biological illustrator! Find out more about Beatrix and visit her collection of drawings and paintings at the Armitt Museum.Armitt Museum & Beatrix Potter
There are many museums, large gardens, exhibitions and public locations that would normally celebrate fungi as part of UK Fungus Day. Unfortunately due to the current Covid-19 situation, outdoor events were not a substantial part UKFD 2020.
There were however a number of exciting Online Events that people enjoyed.
Video presentations from some of these, where available, will be uploaded to the UKFD website under various sections, depending on their theme. Check out the different categories starting with https://www.ukfungusday.co.uk/join/enthusiasts