Hello again, it's time once again for our monthly WEX blog written by Freddie, our very knowledgeable and enthusiastic writer. Thank you Freddie!

Over to him. :) 

This time at WEX we were doing a foraging hunt. Foraging is where you look round the natural environment for resources which might be of use to survive – to get food or build shelter, or even to make art.

We kicked off with puzzles or quizzes based on the idea of autumn foraging. I completed a picture quiz of fruits and nuts which grew on the Old Moor site. I was surprised how many there were to be found! The WEX leaders even sneaked in a trick question: I had to find two beech fruits when there was only one picture!

Then we set out on to the reserve to forage for autumn materials that we could use to make a ‘mandala’ pattern out of fruits, leaves, sticks and anything else we could find at Old Moor on this autumn day.

I went out with the other WEX members to the shrubs at the edge of the meadow where we found lots of fungus. We collected lots of sticks and leaves. The sky was really grey and overcast and there was a Scotch mist of fine droplets in the air. Even so, the colours of the leaves were amazing! The more I looked at the trees, the more I realised how many different shades of colour there were. There was even a plant which had not just red leaves, but red twigs as well.


We went around a short section of the reedbed trail and collected lots of materials for our mandalas. We found rosehips, rowan berries, hawberries, alder cones, withered brown birch catkins, hazel nut shells, huge green hazel leaves spotted with yellow, brilliant yellow field maple leaves, brown oak leaves, faded purple loose strife and bull rushes that were both ordinary single ones and a strange double one that John told us was a different species!

We came back through the visitor centre to a spot of grass just beyond the main gates where Delia said we could lay out our materials to make our mandala patterns.

We split into groups. My friend George and I shared our collections to make our pattern with a centrepiece of teasels and the double bullrush.

Back in the classroom, the leaders had prepared a set of mystery paper bags that we could dip our hands into and see if we could work out what was inside them by using our sense of touch. This could be useful if you were foraging in the dark!

Some of the things I guessed were: teasels, pine cones, pebbles and poppy buds!

The autumn mandala...

A great report of your meeting Freddie, thanks very much. Your finished mandala does look lovely and very autumnal.

  • What a lovely autumnal blog Freddie. Well done! 

    The colours at Old Moor this autumn do seem to have been particularly colourful. I love the patterns and colours of fallen leaves - short colourful spectacle before they rot down and add to the soil layer.