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Fungi Festival at Emmetts Garden

Mushroom collage artwork created for the Fungi Festival at Emmetts Garden
Mushroom collage artwork created for the Fungi Festival | © @ladybyyrd

The Fungi Festival is back 6-29 October 2023, inspired by the array of weird and wonderful fungi found at Emmetts Garden. Explore unique mushroom wares at the Fungi Fair, take a deeper dive with expert talks on the power of fungi and join in the fungi fun during half term.

Fungi Festival

Friday 6 – Sunday 29 October

Fungi have long been associated with magic, myth, and legend. But fantasy aside, our native fungi are something quite unique and special. Falling between the gaps in the plant world, fungi are a species in their own right and have ingenious ways of communicating with each other. The role they play in our ecosystem is also significant, breaking down dead matter, capturing carbon and providing a food source for many creatures.

The Fungi Festival is inspired by the incredible array of specimens found at Emmetts Garden. The damp woodland provides ideal conditions for fungi including the distinctive red and white spotted fly agaric, stinkhorn, shaggy parasols and fairy’s bonnet. Taking place over three weeks in October, the festival celebrates all things fungi through art, crafts, film, talks, workshops, food and even a dedicated Fungi Fair.

Normal admission applies, additional charges and booking are required for workshops and talks.

Fungi Fair

Friday 6 – Sunday 8 October

The festival kicks off with a three-day market on the opening weekend where makers and craftspeople will be selling unique products, all themed around fungi. An alternative craft fair not to be missed, the Fungi Fair offers everything from jewellery and prints to wooden sculpture and ceramics.

Workshops and exhibitions

Throughout the month, learn about the different fungi found at Emmetts in our More than a Mushroom exhibition, listen to Shroom Soundscapes in the South Garden and watch fungi films in our micro cinema at Stable Cottage.

Fungi Films

Artists and filmmakers are inspired by the incredible mushroom in this selection of films for the Fungi Festival 2023. Through artists moving image, documentaries and animation, mushrooms come to life and form an important part of our ecosystem and history.

The Boat (2021) Directed by David Robinson and Bryan Michael Mills

This Entangled Land (2021) Directed by Annabel Howland

The Oracle (2020) Directed by Diana Policarpo

Enoki & the Kind Kreature (2022) Directed by Madilyn Chandler

Fungi talks

Take a deeper dive into the fascinating world of fungi with our exciting programme of talks delivered by fungi experts from across the UK and covering everything from mushroom medicine to fungi horror. Explore the history and purpose of the mushrooms that live in our gardens and woodland as well as the power of fungi and its role in our future.

Friday 13 October

Saturday 14 October

Sunday 15 October

Fly agaric fungi at Emmetts Garden in Kent, with a red domed top spotted with white, and a white stem.
Fly agaric fungi | © National Trust Images/Nick Dougan

Fungi spotting

Fungi spotted at Emmetts should not be picked or eaten; they are often poisonous and form a vital part of the woodland ecosystem.

Family fun(gi)

Saturday 21 – Sunday 29 October

The Fungi Festival is full of family-friendly fun, with events every weekend and a whole week of activities for October half term. Explore the garden, spot giant willow mushrooms and learn about the different fungi found at Emmetts.

The new wild play area is the perfect place to let off some steam. Kids will love the new climbing frame, play net and fairy ring of wooden toadstools and adults can recharge in the nearby tearoom.

Half term activities:

Spectacularly Spooky Fungi Finale

Sunday 29 October

To end a month of celebrating the humble mushroom, join us for a wonderfully spooky final day of the Fungi Festival. Register your pooch in our Halloween doggy costume competition 2-3pm and carve a pumpkin.

Food and drink

When you’re ready for refreshment, wood-fired pizza is available on the meadow at weekends. The Old Stables Tea Room will be serving hot and cold drinks, soup, sandwiches and other light snacks. Look out for The Art of Mycelium fungi art exhibition in the tea room.

Autumn walks

Autumn is a spectacular time of year to visit Emmetts Garden. Enjoy the crunching of golden leaves underfoot and take in the changing of colours of the landscape and fantastic views out over the Weald of Kent. The leaves of the winged spindle tree and the Japanese maples turn fiery red and the katsura tree gives off an amazing aroma of burnt sugar or candyfloss.