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  • Young Climate Warriors

Hanging out with the fascinating 'fungi'!

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Enter another world … wondrous woods … fascinating fungi ... cobwebs beaded with dew … This week your challenge is to go exploring in the woods (with your parent/carer) – with a particular focus on finding fungi! Can you find some of these fungi in a decaying log on the ground, or in a wooded area near you – use this simple fungi identification guide. Please DON’T TOUCH FUNGI – as some of them can be poisonous. Also see how many different seed types you can find – conkers, beech nuts, acorns, sycamore helicopters? Can you find the biggest, brightest orange leaf? Look up to the canopy - how tall are the trees? What do the different tree barks feel like? Can you give a tree a hug - stretch your arms around a tree trunk?

Whilst you’re out in the wonderous woods - how about getting arty? Take some autumnal photos? Use leaves and seeds to make some ‘leaf fireworks’ or woodland emojis? Check out this list of other Woodland Trust crafty ideas? Send us photos of your creations – we’d love to share them with the rest of your virtual Young Climate Warriors team!

Did you know that trees are one of Planet Earth’s most powerful natural defences against climate change? But why? It’s because they ‘store’ carbon. They soak up carbon dioxide to make food for themselves using the sun’s energy, and trap it in their trunks, branches, roots and leaves. To combat climate change we need to REDUCE the amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere; we can also help by INCREASING the amount of carbon we ‘store’ – in plants, soil and the ocean.

What do you know about fungi growing in our soil (mushrooms, toadstools …) – and why are they super important? Scientists who study fungi are called Mycologists, and they estimate that there are 2 - 4 million different species of fungi on Earth – that’s up to six times the number of plant species! Fungi have been described as ‘invisible ecosystem engineers – they’re working hard to support life in our soils – and all the plants growing in them. Fungi are crucial to the health of our woodlands, they break down organic matter – like leaves and dead trees – enabling it to be recycled and used by other plants. Fungi also play a really important role in helping our soils store carbon dioxide – helping to combat climate change. Recent research has suggested that fungi could be helping our soils store 1/3 of all carbon emissions each year – wow!!

Have fun exploring in the woods, send us some photos - and don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON and tell us when you have completed this challenge


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