By Anna Lewis 1st October 2021

Guest Blog by Fungi expert and FSC Tutor Ali McKernan

Sniff Your Way Around the Woods this Autumn for UK Fungus day!

When was the last time you sniffed a wild mushroom?*

Regardless of whether your answer is “Never”, “I can’t remember”, “Last Monday” or “What?” It’s boom time for fungi right now so the time is well and truly upon us – it’s time to get sniffing! Not many people realise just how broad and bonkers the range of odours is that fungi can kick out, some so ridiculous that you may not believe me. Don’t believe me that you may not believe me? Here’s a few examples. However, i’ve planted a rogue odour in there – try and have a punt at which you think it is.

Ready? Here we go:

Watermelon, suncream, battenberg (franchipan), bed bugs, curry, aniseed, ready salted crisps, crab, geranium and cheap soap.
The invader? The ready salted crisps**

The rest are all authentic smells you may experience in the wonderful world of fungi and mushrooms.

*Don’t worry about replying:

1) It would be a bit weird if you replied out loud to an article and

 2) I can’t hear you anyway.

** Though I do occasionally get people detecting that odour when they smell mushrooms on my forays, but that often coincides with just having eaten their packed lunch!

If you’re interested in finding out more about fungi this autumn, check out our place based and virtual Fungi Courses.

Or take the FSC Fungi Name Trail Guide on your next autumnal walk!