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4.5 Biofluorescent Night Walk Brandon Country Park

On an autumnal October evening at Brandon Country Park, a disco of colour could be seen lit up in the woodland. Reds, greens, blues, and purples glowed vibrantly from the darkness, as a group of exploring participants discovered nature’s biofluorescence at our first Brecks Biofluorescent Night walk.

4.5 Biofluorescent Night Walk Brandon Country Park

The walk, led by David Atthowe from Reveal Nature showcased the hidden world of biofluorescent colour. Biofluorescence is the ability of certain organisms to reflect light in a different colour than the one they absorbed. It is usually a response to Ultraviolet (UV) light and comes in an assortment of bright, weird and wonderful colours. A wide range of organisms suddenly light up in the dark bright green, blue, red, purple, orange and any other colour you can think of! Biofluorescence is known to occur in a variety of organisms. This includes insects, plants, lichen, mushrooms, fish, coral, amphibians, and some species of birds and mammals.

During the walk, the group saw a showcase of colours. Nettles appeared crimson red, spiders skulked purple through the undergrowth, and fungi glowed acid green in the darkness. As we looked at a lichen, one participant asked, “what colour is it normally?”. Under white light, it appeared a dull yellow brown, but transformed to a vibrant carrot orange under UV light. However, David pointed out, “What is normal?”. The way humans perceive the colours of the natural world is completely different to other species, and the walk provided a fascinating insight to a world of colour that is hidden all around us. 

Stay tuned to for future BFER supported Biofluorescent night walks in the Brecks, and visit Reveal Nature’s amazing gallery of Biofluorescent images to see examples of Biofluorescence HERE