Modern life often results in many people working inside so much that they lose that connection with the wild woods around them. I hear so many people talking about the fact that they wish they could get out more and immerse themselves in the outdoors, but more ofter than not, they aren’t sure where to start.
My normal response, especially in the autumn and if they have young children, is to go to their local woods on a fungi hunt!
OK, so it might not sound like the most interesting thing to look for, but if you really want to explore your local woods, looking for mushrooms and fungi is a great way. Why? Well you have to look around corners, go off the trail, look inside old trees and explore the woods properly. If you have kids, set them a challenge, a prize for the best find.
Of course some fungi can be poisonous if consumed, so its best to just look and not touch. Please don’t be tempted to eat any, if you want to know about eating them, go to a bushcraft school and let them guide you.
Fungi come in just about every colour you can imagine, not to mention shapes and patterns. The more you look, the more you will realise that there is a secret world tucked away just waiting to be explored.
If you’re into photography, even if its just snapping away with you phone, you can have great fun. A smart little trick I was taught is as follows: Find a nice tall mushroom, set your phone on camera, flip the camera so its taking a selfie, then rest it on the ground under the mushroom. Take a snap and you will have a picture from underneath it, making it look huge!
After a few walks in your local area, you will soon start learning what to look for and your connection to the outdoors will be increasing without you even knowing.
Children love a challenge and rewarding them with a hot chocolate for finding the biggest mushroom or fungi is a great way to get them involved and learning. It is also a great way to run off all that excess energy they have!