Get to know the wonderful world of fungi in this beginner course and identify some of the common (and occasionally less common) species that can be found during Autumn.

You will discuss the importance of fungi within the wider ecosystem, learn how to start identifying different groups of fungi, practice techniques to help you identify species more confidently and discuss how to build your knowledge base further.

This course will cover:

  • Using macro features in the field to aid with confident identification of common fungi in the field to as high a level as possible
  • Discussion on how to take your identification skills further (but you will not be using microscopy in this course)
  • The role of fungi in the wider ecosystem, their threats, conservation and how to act sustainably
  • Stories about these sometimes weird and always wonderful things

Read More

You will be on your feet outdoors for several hours each day, the terrain will be muddy and often uneven and you will be frequently bending down to look at small fungi close to the ground. Therefore, a reasonable level of fitness required.

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

  • Demonstrate a better understanding of how to identify groups of fungi and common species within those groups

Who Should Attend? – This course is primarily aimed at beginners who want to know more about the wonderful world of fungi and build their knowledge of what they might find in their local area.

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

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

PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation, refreshments, or meal facilities included in the course price. If we are unable to reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 4-5 weeks prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

About the Tutor

Chris Ford

Chris has an enthusiasm for all aspects of the natural world and loves to help people to build their knowledge of the amazing wildlife that lives all around us.

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 on Saturday and 4:00pm on Sunday

Day One:  
10:00 – 11:30 Introduction to fungi, common groups, terminology and techniques
11:30 - 12:00 - Break - refreshments not provided  
12:00 – 1:30 - Fungi walk in the amazing habitats surrounding the course venue
1:30 - 2:00 - Lunch - not provided
2:00 - 4:00 - Fungi walk continued
4:00 – 5:00 Review findings and use keys to identify found species

Day Two:
10:00 – 11:00 Features of more different groups of fungi
11:00 – 1:00 - Fungi walk in varied woodlands habitats building on your identification skills
1:00 - 1:30 - Lunch - not provided
1:30 - 3:30 - Fungi walk continued
3:30 – 4:00 Course conclusion

Please note accommodation, refreshments, and an evening meal are not included in the course price. 

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • In Course Transport

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you build 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
  • In-course transport

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

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.

Natural History Bursaries

There are a number of natural history bursaries available to help with the cost of your course. To find out if you and your chosen course are eligible, read more here.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Sensible footwear and clothing for being outdoors - please dress appropriately for cold and wet weather
  • Small bag to carry personal items
  • You will need a small mirror to carry around with you and use outdoors, a folding compact style is ideal
  • A x20 – x30 hand lens is a useful piece of equipment but not essential

Recommended Literature

Please bring any fungi guides that you might own, the more variety the better. However, there’s no need to make a special purchase specifically for this course. If you would like to purchase your own guide before the course then there are some recommendations below.

  • “Mushrooms” (Collins Gem) – a nice little pocket book but a limited number of species.
  • “Complete British Mushrooms and Toadstools” Paul Sterry (2009) – A great guide with great photography of fungi in situ.
  • “Mushrooms” Roger PHILLIPS (2006) – A classic guide in its latest edition, too big for easy use in the field but great nonetheless.
  • “Collins Fungi Guide” Stefan BUCZACKI, Chris SHIELDS and Denys OVENDEN (2012) – more comprehensive than the others with very good descriptions, illustrations rather than photos.
  • You may also like to purchase the Field Studies Council 'Fungi Name Trail' guide to support your learning journey.

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

  • Sat 21, October 2023 10:00 - Sun 22, October 2023 16:00

    If you would like to book accommodation and meals at the Flatford Mill Centre, please email [email protected]. Please note, the Centre may not be able to guarantee accommodation and meals during this course.

    East of England
    Chris Ford

Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, delivered by expert tutors with an approachable learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning 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 courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions or email [email protected].

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.