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Fungi Foray at Powerstock Common

Sun 23 Oct 2016

Fungi-001

Image:Tony Bates MBE

Sometimes delicious, sometimes deadly, fungi are a challenge for gourmets and naturalists alike.  Discover this fascinating world on a foray amongst ancient woodland.

Fungi are essential to life on earth as the primary degraders and they have a fascinating biology.  Kingcombe and Powerstock are some of the best places in England to find fungi with a list of over 500 species, many of them rare, all of them beautiful.  Our nature reserves are especially noted for their populations of Waxcaps with around two dozen of the British species recorded here.  The huge variation in geology and plant life at Powerstock Common ensures a variety of habitats which allows for a larger variety of species than one would expect in a few hundred acres.

The day consists of a brief introduction to the fungal world and answers the questions - what are mushrooms and toadstools?  How do they fit in to the natural world?  How on earth do you tell one from another?  In particular, how do you know if they are edible or not?  There will be a guided walk where all the fungi found will be discussed and where possible (it isn't easy for anyone!), identified.  A delicious packed lunch will be enjoyed out in the reserve, before heading back to the centre to a wrap up session identifying any new or particularly difficult species.

Due to the nature of this event, there will be some walking over rough and uneven ground and some standing around as you listen to discussion points.

About the Leader:

John Wright is not only an expert mycologist but also a foraging expert; mushrooms, hedgerows, seashores, you name it, he finds it and eats it.  He brings an infectious enthusiasm for the natural world and its bounty.  Over a period of twenty years he has taken around five hundred such forays, many of them based in the south west and at Kingcombe in particular, so has a wealth of information at his fingertips to share with you.  John is now one of the country's leading authorities on foraging for food, often seen on national TV, including River Cottage.  John contributes to national publications and has written a number of books in The River Cottage foraging series, covering hedgerows, seashore and of course, fungi!

Price:                   

£69 pp  -  includes guided activities, morning tea, packed lunch and afternoon tea.

Times:   

Arrive from 9.45am for morning tea. 

Course will start at 10am and finish around 4 - 5pm.

What to bring: 

As you will be outside; please bring suitable clothing, wet weather jackets, good walking shoes and a backpack to carry your lunch.  Optional extras, if you have them already, include; a hand lens, any fungi field guides and a camera.

  
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Comments from previous events:

I had two fantastic days with John Wright - couldn't have been better.  Wonderful to be able to open my eyes to so much more now when I go for a walk.  I won't remember the latin names and I probably won't ever eat what I find after hearing some of his horrific stories but I will enjoy finding and examining fungi so much more now.  -  Belinda.

Brilliant day yesterday with John, Brian et al. Thank you for reigniting my interest in fungi.  The foray was very enjoyable and the centre-based time was great: catering, welcome, etc - Neil.

Fungi Foray Oct 2015 c Maurits Fontein (79)-001

John Wright

KC.14.Fungi Foray John Wright c Nicola Hawkins (39)