Welcome to the DFG

Who are we?

The Dorset Fungus Group was established in the village of Lytchett Matravers in 1995 by a small group of enthusiasts who decided 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. In recent years other organisations have appeared across Dorset that often specialise in simply picking for culinary purposes, but the DFG is in no way affiliated to them.

What do we do?

We meet on Sunday mornings throughout the autumn and visit various locations where we are likely to find interesting species, and collect samples for identification and, sometimes to sample, that is if we are 100% SURE they are not poisonous of course! 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 must not underestimate how important fungi is to our wildlife and to all who live on this planet. Most of our forays last for between 2 and 3 hours and with some exceptions commence at 10.00am. 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 various lookalikes, some of which are poisonous. Some of our folklore deals with the magic and mysteries of mushrooms and toadstools which our ancestors did not fully understand; happily we have come a long way since then.

Where do we do it

As long as we have the relevant permission etc, 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. Our main season is the autumn when we have a weekly programme of Fungi Forays held on Sunday mornings. If you do join us, bring wet weather clothing and stout footwear. 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 any favourite places that you think could produce a good variety of fungi please tell us about them. Our chief aim is to enjoy seeing fungi in their natural habitat, coupled with education and conservation. We also have an annual Xmas lunch. You are most welcome to join us.