An ecological eye on existence

In the shining drop of dew that forms at the tip of an unfurling fern, there are whole civilisations of microbes that rise and fall whilst it glints in the sun. On the underside of the leaf as it matures, clusters of tiny catapults form and fling their spores into the air, joining the myriad of other microscopic propagules drifting gently along, seeking a resting place from which they can grow new life.

Sensing Symbiosis is a seasonal sequence of events that invites you to come and immerse yourself in the great outdoors and to wonder at the complexities and beauty that the world around us holds.

Each session will explore a selection of interesting and unusual elements of the natural world. We will navigate the ecology and biology of plants, animals and fungi through a scientific lens, and then venture into the magical and mysterious secret life of nature through folklore, mythology, ethnobotany and natural

Led by mycologist and natural historian Rich Wright (previously from Kew Gardens and Avon Wildlife Trust) and embellished with folklore and performances by professional storyteller Kat Lyons, each session will be carefully crafted to take you on a journey that will widen your eyes with wonder, helping you shake off the
smog of the city and feel a little bit more at home on your beautiful planet.

Each of the sessions will include some of the following, depending on the site and time of year:

• Beginners skills in plant, insect and fungal ID
• Animal tracking
• Field ecology
• Ecological principles
• Beginners soil science
• Interesting discoveries from scientific research
• European and global folklore, mythology and ethnobotany
• Use of magnifiers and microscopes
• Natural geometry
• Herbalism
• Bush craft
• The mind and nature
• Outdoor meditation

Session 1: Sensing the Suburbs 10:30am – 3:30pm, Sunday 2nd September

Bristol is the third greenest city in the UK, offering some beautiful
spaces to explore just a short bus or bicycle ride away. Our first
session will be based at Feed Bristol community gardens in
Stapleton, which offers a fantastic diversity of plants and wildlife
and from which we will be able to explore Snuff Mills and the
River Frome.

At a gentle pace we will explore three ways of viewing nature in a new light. Starting with a journey into the dark and mysterious Kingdom of the Fae, we will look at the folklore and plant uses that have guided people’s connections with nature throughout Europe. Then, as a counter weight to this mystical exploration, we will take on the role of natural historians, investigating natural structure and how it feels to see the world through a different lens, opening up the environment at different scales and indulging in some of the
complex ecological relationships that occur around us. The final session of the day will delve into the mind-bending marvels of mycology, exploring how these fascinating microorganisms live and how incredibly important fungi are for all life on our planet.

The day will be a mixture of walking, activities, short talks, stories and peaceful times outside, so please bring appropriate clothing and footwear for the day. Please also bring a vegan lunch dish to share with the group, and we will have some freshly harvested salads from the Feed Bristol gardens.

This course is limited to 20 participants as the space we are using won’t hold more this time. Future events will be open to more people.

Contact for more information. 

Hope to see you there!

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Ticket type Price Quantity
Above Living Wage £60
Below Living Wage £40
Benefits/No Income £25
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