Welcome to the Dorset Fungus Group
Celebrating 20 years of Foraging in Dorset 1995-2015!
Who are we?
The Dorset Fungus Group was established in the village of Lytchett Matravers in 1995 by a small group of enthusiasts who wanted to further their knowledge and share their interest of fungi. Originally known as "The Purbeck Fungus Group" the present name was adopted in 2003 when it was realised that members came from all over Dorset. Today we are Dorset's only club to specialise in this fascinating subject.
What do we do?
We meet on Sunday mornings and visit various locations where we are likely to find interesting species, and collect samples for identification and, sometimes to eat, that is if we are 100% sure they are not poisonous! Fungi are very a diverse assemblage of organisms and micro-organisms that obtain their nutrients from decaying organic material or from living plants, animal and even other fungi. We are only just beginning to understand how important they are to our wildlife and to all who live on this planet. Most forays last for between 2 and 3 hours and usually start at 10.00 am. After each visit we record the species we find, especially if they are rare or infrequent. You don't have to know anything about fungi to join us on our outings because our members are more than willing to pass on the knowledge they have gained.
Why do we do it?
Nothing can beat a morning stroll through attractive countryside with well informed friends who are always on the lookout for something new or unusual. Above all it is the satisfaction we get from observing the wide diversity shown by fungi and why it is important to know the "lookalikes" some of which are poisonous. Some of our folklore deals with the magic and mysteries of mushrooms and toadstools which our ancestors didn't fully understand; happily we have come a long way since then.
Where do we do it?
Woodlands, forests, country parks, private estates, National Trust areas, Forestry Commission land, private gardens and even cemeteries, in fact just about anywhere likely to support fungi growing in natural conditions. We begin in the spring when we hope to find early varieties but our main season is the autumn when we have a programme of fungi forays. If you join us bring wet weather clothing and stout footwear and take precautions against Lyme Disease. Other items you might want to bring are a pen knife, gloves, hand wipes, a small basket and a pocket guide. At all times we observe the Country Code. If you have a favourite place that you think might produce a good variety of fungi please let us know and we may be able to arrange a foray.
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