FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Identifying Fungi (Bushy Park)

  • Location: London
  • Tutor: Mark Spencer
  • Date: Saturday 06 October 2018
  • Times: 10:00 - 16:00
  • Level: Open for Everyone

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 life-histories. The introductory talk, followed by an exploration of the park, will help you start to learn the basic identification techniques. This course will not teach you how to forage fungi for food, although where relevant, edibility and toxicity will be discussed.

Fungi grow in almost every imaginable niche, from tropical jungles to polar ice caps and our own temperate woods and fields, they are even found in the sea. Many species play an important role supporting the health of plants, others are significant tree and plant killers or essential ‘mopper-uppers’ of decaying material in the environment. Without fungi our environment would come to a halt pretty quickly! Field identification of fungi is often made easier by the use of chemical tests which will be demonstrated by the tutor.

By the end of this course, participants will have:

  • examined specimens of fungi from different groups and habitats
  • 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.


About the Tutor:

Dr Mark Spencer did his PhD on the evolution of oomycetes and has a long-standing interest in field mycology. He is an experienced botanist and is the vascular plant recorder for the LNHS and BSBI Middlesex vice-county recorder. He has research and personal interest in 17th & 18th Century botanical science, 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

Disclaimer All timings are approximate. This is an outline programme and may be subject to change according to the weather, requirements of the group or access restrictions to field sites on the day of the course.

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 them

  • Your favourite fungi field guide
  • 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. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/bushy-park/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-here

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.


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

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