Well, these are questions being addressed by our collaboration with film maker Susi Arnott who set up Slimewatch to answer SLIMEWATCH 2: this time, it's Deptford (office.com) .  It turns out that this brown ooze supports a fascinating microscopic community of organisms.  When collected and viewed under powerful magnification (400 x) a whole new world is opened up to us.  This world is populated by algae.  This is a loose description for photosynthetic organisms that seem to live on the boundaries of the animal and plant worlds.  They can photosynthesise (as plants do) but can also move around like animals.

So the Slimewatch project is all about discovering what we can about these organisms.  Can we identify them? Can we count them? How does the colour of the mud relate to what we see under a microscope?  We are currently trialing our collection and recording methods with volunteers on Wednesdays and will then in Spring/Summer (when the colours really start showing) will be holding days for the general public to come and join in.

Phycology is the study of algae, we were visited by Dr Martyn Kelly who is a phycologist and included his visit on his blog microscopesandmonsters (wordpress.com).

< KS2 teachers - join us for a walk to the river mouth on our KS2 River Mouth Walk activity! Get active in 2024 >

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