Fungi near you
If you're curious about fungi, here are some ways you can get involved...
Local fungus groups
Join one of the many local groups to find out more about what you can discover near you.
Local Fungus Groups exist in many parts of the UK. They are run on a voluntary basis by enthusiasts seeking to share their knowledge of wild fungi and improve identification skills. Groups offer a welcoming environment for current and new members to enjoy exploring the world of fungi. Find a group.
Some fungus groups around the UK run public events to celebrate UK Fungus Day.
Out and about
Take a photograph Fungi make wonderful subjects to photograph, not only to help identify them but also for their intrinsic shape, form and texture. You might be an expert photographer or, if not, have fun with your phone or tablet! If you're taking photos to help identify the fungus, read these tips.
Look closer Use a small hand lens to open up whole new world of tiny fungi, and other wildlife will leap into view. One that magnifies x10 is fine, and small hand lenses are not expensive to buy.
Roll a log Fungi take many forms and if you think there is little to see whilst walking, turning over a log can reveal a marvellous world of fungi coating the log like paint. Not forgetting the insect life! And don't forget to replace the log after viewing.
Submit a record Found and identified a fungus in your garden, local woodland or nearby green space? There are many places you can send your records: contact a local fungus group, County Recorder, Local Record Centre or add to the FRDBI database. Expert mycologists will then use your record to monitor and learn how best to protect sites and species.
Have fun with fungi
Watch a fungus fizz Yeast is a type of microscopic fungus; yeasts are used to make bread and beer and help to put the fizz in champagne. Just like other fungi, yeasts can’t make their own food. Try this activity to test what baker's yeast, Saccharaomyces cerevisae, needs to grow. Get the instruction sheet
Make a spore print Fungi produce millions of spores, which are similar to the seeds of flowering plants. Fungi that make mushroom fruit bodies release their spores from the underside of the cap, from plate-like gills, tubes, ridges or spiky projections. Try this activity to make your own spore print. Get the instruction sheet
Observe and identify
The British Mycological Society is a scientific society supporting fungal research and conservation, and highlighting the fundamental importance of fungi in the world's ecosystems.
Found a fungus? Make some notes to help identify it later:
What does it look like: colour, shape, size, texture (smooth, sticky, rough…?)
Smell: soapy, aniseed, sweet…?
Growth: single, grouped, clustered…?
Substrate: rotten wood, leaf litter, soil…?
Associated organism: what plant/tree/other organism is it associated with?
Habitat: woodland, grassland, urban, dunes…?
Location and date: site name or grid reference
If you're taking photos to help identify the fungus, read these tips.
Watch 'Introduction to Identifying Fungi' by Liz Holden.
The FSC's Natural History Live talks cover topics such as ecology, conservation, wildlife identification or wildlife monitoring.