The Buckinghamshire Fungus Group was set up in 1998 to promote Fungus recording in the County. The importance of fungi to bio-diversity and conservation has been increasingly recognized during this time. The Group is an amateur, volunteer-based organization and receives no outside funding apart from membership subscriptions and occasional fees for attendance at events (in general, members do not have to pay to attend Group forays).
The fungi make up a substantial part of natural bio-diversity and are found in almost every imaginable habitat. They form a large, important and unique kingdom, distinct from both plants and animals but intimately linked into the natural environment. When we see a fungus we are looking at merely the fruiting body of an infinitely more extensive organism, made up of miles of microscopic threads radiating throughout the soil, leaf litter, wooden log or whatever substrate the organism is living in, in its search for nutrients. The number of known species of fungi worldwide is vast, more than 15,000 species in Britain alone, with many more awaiting discovery. We identify what is there by observing the visible part of the organism, the ″mushroom″, i.e. the spore-bearing body, but this may only appear briefly or sometimes not at all. All this makes recording fungi a challenge, with continuing observation over many years the only way to discover what is there.
Since 1998, The Bucks Fungus Group has added many thousands of records to the County list, covering more than a thousand species, half of them new to the County. Anyone interested in joining us on our forays would be very welcome, especially if you can help name the associated plant species and recognize the habitat. Don′t feel you have to be expert at recognizing fungi to be of great help! We welcome beginners and, although collecting to eat is not one of the Group′s objectives (and is not permitted at some sites), learning to recognize fungi with other experienced people is the best way, providing a good basis for reliable identification.
Anyone is welcome to join Bucks Fungus Group. Click here for membership details