Fungi

There are, amazingly, around 3,000 larger fungi found in Britain. Most appear from late summer to late autumn and beyond. Weather conditions play an extremely important part. A dry hot summer proceeded by a wet warm autumn could be considered perfection. The fruiting head/body visible above ground, or the classic mushroom shape (in most cases), would be the ‘tip of the iceberg’, only seen when conditions are right. Mycelium, or rooting structures, are the unseen fabric of fungi. Beneath the woodland floor they thrive in composted leaf litter. Some interact with roots of trees, in a symbiotic relationship, similar to some orchids. The old Chiltern beech woods are one of the best habitats.

 

What's happening with fungi in Maidenhead?

There are many excellent places to search for and see fungi in the Maidenhead area. There are always fungi walks taking place, arranged by various local wildlife organisations, including the National Trust, BBOWT, Cookham Wildlife Supporters and, from time to time, Wild Maidenhead. See if there is a fungi walk scheduled in our events programme

What can I do?

Know your fungi!! There are a few very poisonous species, but the vast majority are harmless. Some are very good to eat, but all must be cooked and positively identified before doing so. To learn more, join your local wildlife group and participate in forays with a knowledgeable leader. An enjoyable day out and hopefully one can eat one's finds.

    

There are many rules and regulations about collecting these days, so  find out who owns or manages the woodland, before picking!

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