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Thorneyholme Roman Catholic Primary School

Tree Communication and the Mycorrhizal System

The juniors spent the afternoon in the forest on Monday and despite a bad forecast, the weather stayed dry.

As 6th October marked UK Fungus Day the children spent their forest session looking at the wonders of fungi. They began with a warm-up game, involving a rope and some knowledge of 2D shapes and had to make various shapes without letting go of the rope, first with their eyes open and then with their eyes closed. This required good team work and communication.


Following this, children looked at how trees use a fungal mycorrhizal system to communicate and played a hide and seek/Chinese whispers game to demonstrate. A message had to be passed between/around a large circle of trees (by us humans acting as the mycorrhizal system). Children hid behind a tree and a secret word was given to one. This child then had to run to the next tree, without being spotted by the ‘spotter in the middle, to pass the message on. After a few goes, the children decided to make it slightly harder and instead of just one person running each time, the messenger had to pick up everyone on their travels round the tree circle. The eleven children found it quite difficult staying hidden and quiet!


After some juice and biscuits, the children all went in search of fungi. And what a lot there was to find! They found a multitude of brackets, wood and ground fungi. Take a look at some of the wonders we found.