New museum exhibition celebrating the local natural world opens in Mansfield

Amethyst deceiver laccaria amethystina in sherwood forest

The fascinating story of local fungi and how it underpins our natural world is being explored in a new museum exhibition in Mansfield.

Mansfield Museum’s spectacular Through the Lens exhibition opened Saturday 25 May, and explores fungus grown naturally in local beauty spots, including Sherwood Forest, the Maun Valley Trail, and the spa ponds.

The exhibition was commissioned exclusively for Mansfield District Council and is made up of pictures from macro photographer Alex Hyde. Alex's collection unveils super close-up photographs, inviting visitors to discover hidden worlds and appreciate the beauty often overlooked in our everyday surroundings.

It was made possible through Minor to Major funding, a five-year landscape partnership scheme supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, focusing on the Sherwood Forest area. The scheme delivers various projects to celebrate Sherwood's habitats, species, and heritage by working with partners and engaging local communities.

Also, the exhibition is home to a cutting-edge video installation by lecturer and photographer Katja Hock, 'Three Oaks’. This projection will show the changes and movement of oak trees in Sherwood Forest through the seasons.

Sian Booth, Cultural Services Manager, said: “It was really interesting for us to bring these two artists’ works together and merge them into an immersive experience for our visitors.

“All woodland and trees are connected by fungi, with people in this space knowing it as the wood wide web. Fungi share nutrients and information between trees, making them an intrinsic network of life.

“We hope this exhibition will spark conversations about how these local species underpin trees in our region, and we hope it encourages visitors to go into the outdoors and explore what is right beneath their feet.”

Alex Hyde will be hosting a question-and-answer session for visitors on 7 June at Mansfield Museum, where he will talk through how he captures wildlife on a tiny scale using advanced macro techniques. It will be from 6pm to 8pm and cost £6 per person. You can book here: (opens in new window)

The display will be on display at the museum until 15 June and will then embark on a tour with Inspire Libraries until 2025.

The exhibition links in with the council's wider corporate plan under the theme of 'our district', with one of the aims to deliver a diverse cultural and leisure experience for residents and beyond. 

There will be information plaques throughout the collection populated with useful tips and information from the Wildlife Garden Project. The aim will be to inform visitors how they can make their gardens more wildlife-friendly, along with interactive videos about ponds.  

Mansfield Museum is free to visit. For more details, please visit (opens in new window)

Published: May 29th 2024