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

The course is primarily aimed at beginners 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.

We will focus on the more common groups of fungi and use macro features in the field to help us to 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.

No prior knowledge is needed, just an enthusiasm to get out there and give it a go.

This course includes:

  • We will discuss the importance of fungi within the wider ecosystem.
  • Learning how to start identifying different groups of fungi.
  • Practice techniques to help us identify species more confidently.
  • Discuss how to build our knowledge base further.

We anticipate that this course will run with between 8 and 16 participants.

Reasonable level of fitness required.  We will be on our feet outside for several hours on each day, the terrain will be muddy and often uneven and we will be frequently bending down to look at small fungi close to the ground.

If you are 18-25, you can get £50 off this course thanks to the Generation Green project. Click here to find out more and to get your voucher code.

Tutor: Chris Ford

Chris Ford has worked in environmental education for 15 years, working at in the London Region at Juniper Hall and Bushy Park and at the Blencathra Centre in the Lake District National Park. He is now working for the RSPB on the Suffolk Coast at RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve and continuing to share his love for the natural world from wildflowers to wading birds and invertebrates to interesting fungus. When he isn’t working Chris is often out on his bike or out in the garden but always with an eye out for anything interesting that might be spotted nearby.

Please note, the fee is for tuition and refreshments only.

If you would like to book accommodation, lunch and an evening meal at FSC Flatford Mill, please email [email protected]

Example Timetable


10:00am – 11:30am         Introduction to fungi, common groups, terminology and techniques.
12:00pm – 14:30pm         Fungi walk in the amazing habitats around Flatford Mill.
14:30pm – 16:00pm         Review our findings and use keys to identify found species.


10:00am – 11:00am        Features of more different groups of fungi.
11:00am – 15:30pm        Fungi walk in different habitats building on our identification skills.
15:30pm – 16:00pm       Course conclusion.

If you have booked accommodation at the Centre, please arrive between 8:00am and 9:30am on arrival day, allowing time to settle into your room before the course begins.

If you are a non-resident, please arrive by 9:45am.

The course will end at 17:00pm on the last day and we ask that rooms are vacated by 9:30am.


What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Up to 6 hours of tuition a day.
  • Tea and coffee making facilities available throughout the day.
  • Use of resources and facilities including workrooms and the Centre grounds.

Bursaries and Subsidies

If you are 18-25, you can get £50 off this course thanks to the Generation Green project. Click here to find out more and to get your voucher code.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Warm clothes, Waterproof Clothing.
  • Walking Boots / Wellingtons.
  • Rucksack.
  • Lunch box / drinks container.
  • Notebook, pencil/pen.
  • Hand lens x 20/x30*.
  • Fungi Field Guides if you have them.
  • Small mirror to carry around with you and use outdoors, a folding compact style is ideal.

Recommending Reading Material:

  • “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.