FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Identifying Fungi

  • Location: London
  • Tutor: Mark Spencer
  • Date: Saturday 23 September 2017
  • Times: 10:00 - 16:00
  • Level: Open for Everyone
  • Age Range: Adult

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken. Explore our current programme of courses here

Course Details

Did you know that there are over 1,500 species of fungi in London? This beginners course will explore the environment of Bushy Park, showing how and where to find different species of fungi and examining their amazing lifestyles. A combination of walks and talks will help you start to learn the basic identification techniques. This course will not teach you how to forage fungi for food.

Fungi grow in almost every imaginable niche, from tropical jungles to polar ice caps and our own temperate woods and fields. We have over 1,500 species in the London areas. Some are delicious edibles, others produce deadly poisons; some are dangerous parasites and others helpful partners; out forests would not survive without them and fungi are essential in cleaning up dead and dying organic matter everywhere.

This beginners' course will look at their intricate and fascinating lifestyles and methods of feeding and show you the characters to look for when trying to identify your finds. Combining walks and talks, we will look at the fungi both in the field as well as in the classroom and useful identification handouts will be provided. Cameras are encouraged, but note that we will NOT be collecting for food.

By the end of thsi course, participants will have:

  • examined specimins of fungi from different groups
  • practiced identification of fungi using standard field guides and identification handouts

Course fee includes a copy of the FSC fold out chart: Fungi Identification Guide


Mark Spencer is an experienced botanist and is the vascular plant recorder for the LNHS and BSBI. He specialises in urban botany, non-natives and the impacts of environmental change


  • 0930 Registration
  • 1000 Welcome, Health and Safety & Introduction
  • 1030 Walk through Bushy Park: Field Identification, collection of specimens
  • 1230 Lunch
  • 1330 Identification of fungi collected in the morning session
  • 1530 Summary - a chance to ask questions
  • 1550 Taking your interest further and Course Reviews
  • 1600 Course finishes

What to bring

  • Lunch and plenty to drink
  • Suitable clothing & footwear, waterproofs or sun cream as appropriate!
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Small bag to carry personal items

If you have one:

  • x10 hand lens
  • camera

Health and Safety

  • 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 requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.
  • Please be aware that this is a Deer Park, and there can be ticks. Please consider wearing long sleeved tops and trousers, even if the weather is nice, and bring insect repellent.

Meeting point / Location

The Stockyard, Bushy Park.

FSC in Bushy Park

FSC have been working in partnership with The Royal Parks to deliver courses since 2011. In Bushy Park, our education Centre has two classrooms, toilet facilities, a small kitchen and office space. Alongside this is an area of the Park for education use, not open to members of the public. With two large meadows and grassland areas, woodland areas and three ponds, this is an exciting and inspiring space to discover more about the Park.

Located near Hampton Court Palace, Bushy Park's mixture of woods, gardens, ponds and grassland makes it a fantastic place to enjoy wildlife with roaming herds of Red and Fallow Deer. The park is also home to the famous Chestnut Avenue, a formal Baroque water garden and the beautiful Diana Fountain.


Further Information

Bushy Park Directions

This course is now historical and therefore no bookings can be taken.

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