This beginner fungi course is primarily aimed at those who want to know more about the wonderful world of fungi and build their knowledge of what kinds of things they might find in their local area during autumn.

Looking at habitat, substrate, and how the fungus interacts within a woodland habitat are skills that will allow you to build your knowledge of woodland fungi.

This course will cover:

  • Common groups of fungi with a focus on autumnal species
  • Identifying species using macro features and keys
  • Range of classroom and field sessions

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This course will focus on the more common groups of fungi and how to use macro features in the field to help make a confident identification to as high a level as possible. We will discuss how to take your identification skills further but for this course, we are not going to be using microscopy, however, a good quality hand lens (x20-30) will be useful.  Along the way, we will discuss the role of fungi in the wider ecosystem, their threats, conservation and how to act sustainably, and some stories about these sometimes weird and always wonderful things.

There will be classroom-based sessions but the majority of learning will take place out in the beautiful countryside surrounding Flatford Mill. As such participants will need to have a reasonable level of fitness and have suitable clothing for being out in all weathers for several hours at a time. You must also be prepared to peer closely at small fungi growing on damp woodland floors!

Who Should Attend? – Nature enthusiasts, Students, Rangers, Early career ecologists.

Knowledge Level – Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge – No existing knowledge, or experience is needed for this course. Just a willingness to explore and learn.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the most common groups of fungi and some individual species using macro features
  • Use a range of fungi guides to identify species
  • Explain how to study fungi sustainably

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect

Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00am
The course will end at 5:00pm.

Day 1
Introduction to fungi, common groups, terminology and techniques
Break - refreshments not provided
Field session
Lunch - not provided
Continued field session
Review our findings and use keys to identify found species.

Please note accommodation, refreshments and an evening meal are not included

Day 2
Recap of day 1
Features of more different groups of fungi
Break - refreshments not provided
Field session
Lunch - not provided
Continued field session
Classroom plenary

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you continue to build and develop your knowledge and apply it within the field surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The course includes:

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression

Recommended Devices

It is recommended that you access your course through a PC or laptop. Please be aware that there will be reduced functionality if you decide to access the course through a tablet or smartphone. The Field Studies Council is unable to email content directly to you.


  • ★★★★

    The other people on the course were enthusiastic beginners like myself, which meant that the course was tailored to our level. Very good interaction with the course tutor. No complaints. Overall an excellent course.

  • ★★★★

    The other people on the course were enthusiastic beginners like myself, which meant that the course was tailored to our level.

  • ★★★★

    Good visual handouts, engaging speaker, lovely rambles. Course was great Great fun, lovely atmosphere

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors

If you have them

  • Hand lens
  • Penknife
  • Any up to date field guide to fungi

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical or access requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.

Opportunities to attend this course

This course is not currently available to book. Dates will follow soon.

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Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, including online course materials, expert tuition and a flexible learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning about fungi with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

If you have any questions about our online courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses. Find out more!

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.