Welcome to the Dorset Fungus Group
Who are we?
The Dorset Fungus Group was established in the village of Lytchett Matravers in 1995 by a small group of amateur 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 were joining from all over Dorset and sometimes beyond. We are the only group in Dorset to specialise in the recording of this fascinating subject. Please note that we are NOT primarily a foraging group to collect edible fungi!
What do we do?
We meet on Sunday mornings and visit various locations where we are likely to find interesting species. We collect specimens for identification and often display on a table after the foray for a quick Q&A session. Fungi are a very diverse assemblage of organisms and micro-organisms that obtain their nutrients from decaying organic material and/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 of our forays last for between 2 and 3 hours and usually start at 10.00 am. After each visit we record the species we find and enter them on a national database at the end of each season. You don’t have to know anything about fungi to join us on our forays because our identifiers are more than willing to pass on the knowledge they have gained over the years.
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. We have come a long way since then but there is still a good amount of mystery involved in the kingdom of fungi.
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 (with permission where required of course!) likely to support fungi growing in natural conditions. We usually begin in the early autumn when we publish a regular programme of fungi forays held on Sunday mornings. If you would like to join us bring wet weather clothing and stout footwear and take precautions against the horrible Lyme Disease, wearing short trousers or skirts is not recommended! 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 Countryside 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.