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Foraging for Fungi

Last modified: 16 September 2013

Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria, fungi growing at The Lodge

The Eastern Moors is home to a wide variety of fungi, including the fly agaric.

Image: Andy Hay

Red deer and adders are two of the top wildlife species you might easily link to the Eastern Moors, but look a bit closer and you’ll discover wildlife which, though much smaller, is arguably as spectacular as a mighty deer stag.

The Eastern Moors is home to a wide variety of amazing species of fungi, including some so rare they are under protection.  On Saturday 12 October, the Eastern Moors Partnership will be hosting a workshop inviting people to come along and learn how to figure out a waxcap from a bolete. 

Kevin Gilfedder, an acknowledged expert in the field, will be running the full day workshop, helping people to develop their identification skills in both grassland and woodland habitats, on Ramsley Moor.  Kevin has been studying fungi for more than 25 years and is an associate of the British Mycological Society and experienced foray leader.

Kevin Gilfedder said, “Fungi are a fascinating and important part of the environment, being responsible for breaking down and recycling all sorts of organic material such as dead animals, plants and animal droppings. Once you have become aware of fungi, a walk in the woods will never be the same again - where you previously passed by, you will now see the woodland floor come alive with a wealth of life you never noticed before."

Aimed at all audiences, from the complete novice through to the expert, the comprehensive workshop will start with an indoor session examining fungi and their biology, exploring research and identification materials and looking at specimens, discussing their differences and respective habitats.  Following this, participants will go out and about to learn and practice field identification skills both within grassland and woodland habitats.

The Eastern Moors Partnership, a partnership between the National Trust and the RSPB, is managing the Eastern Moors in the Peak District National Park.  An accessible upland site, rich in wildlife and cultural history, the partnership strives to keep a balance between wildlife enhancement, recreation and for the protection of historical sites.

Katherine Clarke, Visitor Services Manager for the Eastern Moors Partnership, said: “The Eastern Moors are popular for people to visit, and we want to create opportunities for them to discover more about some of the lesser known wildlife, such as the fungi.

The workshop is aimed at all abilities and would suit people just wanting to learn a bit more for themselves but also those looking to enhance their learning for college and university study.”

The Eastern Moors are running a number of events over the autumn period, including a Bronze Age Bracelets to Industrial Engineering walk and two events celebrating the atmospheric annual deer rut; Red Deer in Love & at War and Red Deer Watch.

The Fungus Foray & Workshop will start at 10am, at Barbrook Cottage on Big Moor, finishing at 3pm.  The workshop costs £25 per person, and is open to adults and accompanied children, aged 12 years and over. For further information and to book a place, call 07738 738844 or email enquiries@easternmoors.org.uk.

Refreshments will be provided during the day. Participants should bring a packed lunch and wear sturdy footwear, long trousers and appropriate outdoor clothing for the weather. They will need transport during the day.

To find out more about events throughout the year visit  www.easternmoors.org.uk

How you can help

Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines. We can all help by giving nature a home where we live.

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