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Be Inspired By Fungi on our Biology, Ecology and Drawing Autumn Fungi Weekend near Manchester on a hands-on introductory course welcoming novices to the wonderful world of fungi.

National Trust Quarry Bank Mill, Manchester
*Weekend courses include tuition only. There is no accommodation provided

Gain a better understanding of these curious organisms, how they secretly interact with their surroundings and go on to celebrate the line and texture of their diverse forms learning the basics of line-based pencil, pen and ink drawing through this fabulous subject.  All under the guidance of engaging, experienced experts in the field.Encouraging you to take a moment to mindfully appreciate this intriguing kingdom of species through their science and their form.  Be inspired and engaged by the expertise of our specialist tutors and enjoy being surrounded by like minded individuals to share your interest in this idyllic wildlife haven on the doorstep of Manchester airport.

Introduction to Autumn Fungi

On Day 1 we invite you to Learn to Love Fungi in an introduction to the wonderful world of fungi suitable for novices. Get a better understanding of these curious organisms’ biology, how they secretly interact within a habitat and meet a number of common species under the guidance of an engaging, experienced expert in the field. Our fantastic tutor Ali McKernan ‘The FUNgi Guy’ will combine the use of classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities  to give individuals the skills and confidence to learn more about the lives and ecology of fungi we challenge you not to be enthralled!

If you’re interested in finding out more about fungi but don’t feel quite ready for a specific field ID course, then this is the course for you! Learn To Love Fungi is a gentle introduction, covering aspects of fungi biology, ecology and of exploring the woods to find some real life specimens, complemented by a creative day that will give you time and space to develop your skills in investigating and representing this fascinating subject artistically.

What will be covered during this course?

  • An introduction to fungi biology
  • An introduction to fungi ecology
  • An overview of the species diversity within the UK
  • Please note that this course is NOT a species identification course

Sketching Autumn Fungi

On day 2 we invite you to Love to Draw Fungi in a beginners drawing course celebrating line and texture of fabulous fungi forms using pencil, pen and ink.  The course will investigate this charismatic subject covering basic technical elements of line-based pencil, pen and ink drawing and you will be sure to leave the day with a personal artistic study of fungi to be proud of! Our talented art tutor Debora Cane will support you with techniques and knowledge to bring the subject of fungi alive through your art work using images, hands on resources and first hand observations of the subject.  The artistic skills will be complemented by your new found knowledge of the species to really give depth and understanding to the pieces that you create.

What will be covered during this course?

The subject will be the star and the nature context focus for building the following artistic skills:

  • Drawing in pen
  • Creating pen textures in relation to fungi
  • Relating relative tone to pen texture marks
  • Developing a broader view of nature drawings from the work of others

The weekend gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject, acquire novel skills and take a different kind of city break.  When the learning is over, you have the evening to explore what a new place has to offer.

  • Each day will run 10am – 5pm each day.
  • See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections below for more information about this course.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Course Fees

Subsidised Price: £20

Subsidised by the Generation Green project for young people aged 18-25 living in England only. You will be asked to prove your age and address so please only select this option if you are aged between 18 and 25 and live in England.  Select ‘Attendee Subsidised: In Person

Regular Price: £100
For any adults unable to access the subsidised option. Select ‘Attendee: In Person’.

Tutor: Ali McKernan

Ali works in a large primary school in Manchester, and has been teaching fungi and celebrating UK Fungus Day with them for a few years, including log inoculation and growing oyster mushrooms on used coffee grounds. Ali is also a member of the North West Fungus Group and passionate about introducing fungi to the next generation (in fact, anyone at all), recently embracing social media and becoming known as 'The Fungi Guy'. He makes short 'beginner's guides' on YouTube that are fun and accessible by all. Ali has recently written for the Wildlife Trusts children's magazine and through his outreach role hopes to introduce this remarkable kingdom to even more young people!

Tutor: Debora Cane

Debora Cane is an enthusiastic art tutor with over 35 years of experience. All of her courses concentrate on simple concepts and practical techniques and are suitable for everyone; no previous experience is required. Every session has planned content and takes varying approaches to help students build up their own techniques and style. Debora draws and paints daily (mainly in pen & ink) and undertakes illustrations for small commissions. She is a Professional Associate of the SAA.

Covid Measures

In order to keep our customers and staff safe we ask that anyone attending our centres:

  • wear a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).
  • maintains social distancing.
  • cleans their hands regularly.
  • takes a Covid-19 test before they arrive.

Example Timetable

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00 am.
  • The course will end at 5:00 pm.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • 6 hours of tuition
  • Any excursions will be on foot

Bursaries and Subsidies

Generation Green

Generation Green is an ambitious project which will support 100,000 young people and teachers/youth leaders to better understand the environment and green economy. Through a series of day and residential activities, teacher and youth leader training, apprenticeships and work placements the partners delivering this project will reach out to young people in England in the North West and Midlands, and deprived coastal and urban areas.

Generation Green is actively delivering opportunities for an 18 month period thanks to government funding (Defra) administered through Heritage Lottery. FSC is working alongside YHA, Outward Bound Trust, Girl Guides, Scouts and National Parks to provide these amazing opportunities.

FSC are offering this course at a heavily subsidised rate for young people aged 18-25 living in England through the Generation Green project.

Before You Attend

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Camera to capture images
  • Lunch
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors
  • Hand lens (if you have one)

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.