Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fairy Fun Time in the Garden




When a strapping lad turned up to the waxcap foray in a pink tutu and fairy wings, I knew our marketing strategy had worked.
The second Wales Fungus Day (now part of UK Fungus Day) held at the National Botanic Garden of Wales attracted a motley crew of young and old dressed as fairies and elves, no doubt attracted by the offer of free entry as by the chance to dress up for fun.
Despite persistent rain, 360 people turned up for an event packed day. The first walk augered well – over 40 people joined David Mitchel (pictured above) for a Wonderful World of Waxcaps walk, which not only entertained but uncovered several new fungi records for the site. Other walks by Ray Woods (The Importance of Fungi) and Pat O’Reilly (Woodland Fungi) drew similar crowds whilst Sue Parker and Richard Culleton indoor cookery demonstration and Pat O’Reilly’s The Amazing World of Fungi talk, drew around 60 people each.
Under the cover of the world’s largest single-span glasshouse, visitors to the BMS’s From Another Kingdom exhibition also got the chance to make their own woodturned fungus, talk to fungi-inspired artists and gaze down microscopes at the micro-world of fungi. 
There was also a photographic exhibition of Botanic Garden fungi, lots of family activities, a demonstration of using Ispot and a special storytelling and music performance by Cheryl Beer, based on a new work of hers, The Tethered Fairy Ring, which was inspired by last year’s Wales Fungus Day. This, and a specially made fairy model village, provided the inspiration for the fairy theme, and the day was rounded off by Bruce Langridge with advice, gained from Welsh folklore, of how to escape from a fairy ring.

Bruce Langridge
bruce.langridge@gardenofwales.org.uk 

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