This course aims to introduce to course participants as wide a range of mushrooms and toadstools as possible during a combination of field meetings and indoor sessions this will provide opportunities to either begin or further develop skills in identification for those with some experience. To acquire skills in identification necessitates some understanding of the ecology of fungi, particularly their feeding habits. Collecting excursions to a diversity of woodland and grassland habitats will allow this aspect to be covered. Should course members be interested in using microscopes then opportunities will arise and instruction in their use provided.

This is a course for anyone who has already or wishes to begin an interest in the larger Fungi.

Tutor: Paul Nichol

Paul Nichol is a retired field mycologist and adult education tutor for the University of Nottingham and the WEA for 25 years. For several years he has run fungi courses at FSC Kindrogan, as well as workshops during the autumn months up and down the country. Paul is a leader of the Cumbria fungi group as well as the recorder for fungi in the Cumbria. He is a botanist and the author of the guide Identifying mushrooms and toadstools as well as a trustee of the Fungus Conservation Trust.

Example Timetable


Fungi - an illustrated discussion introducing this kingdom and introduction to the main groups


Illustrated discussion on features used to identify agarics. Collecting fungi from the Centre grounds for examination later. Field trip to a local deciduous woodland again to collect specimens for use in the lab. Returning to the centre examination of specimens to identify the main anatomical features needed for identification, production of spore prints and completion of a crib sheet


Field excursion to a coniferous woodland to observe the occurrence of fungi and to note mycorrhizal associations. Collection of a range of specimens. Indoor session -Use of a key to identify specimens to their genus. identification to genus and use of selected keys to identify to species.


Indoor session to complete identifications of fungi of coniferous woodlands. Field excursion to ancient deciduous woodland to collect specimens and record tree relationships.Indoor session on identification to species Experience using dichotomous and synoptic keys for the above, reviewing different keys.


Morning field trip to observe fungi in the field which will provide an opportunity to consolidate what has been learnt. Video of fungi.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

Start and finish times

Resident visitors are requested to arrive on Monday at the office reception for registration before 6.00pm. An introductory talk will follow. Evening meal will be at 6.30pm. Breakfast will be at 8.15am. The course will end at breakfast on Friday.

What to bring?

  • Clothing for cooler weather
  • Waterproofs
  • Walking boots
  • A day rucksack
  • Lunch box
  • Water bottle
  • Thermos flask
  • Basket or firm box for collecting (no plastic bags)
  • Notebook
  • A good Field guide to fungi

Walking boots, wellingtons, waterproof jacket and trousers can be provided.

Pay a deposit of £100.00 per item