This is a course for anyone who already has an introductory knowledge of fungi and for those total beginners who wish to begin developing skills in identifying the larger Fungi.

The main interest of the course is to allow participants to see and identify as wide a range of the larger fungi as possible. There is no guarantee as to just how diverse the fungi will be but there will be sufficient to allow identification skills to be learnt and developed.

The course will cover classification of the larger fungi, feeding strategies and ecology, and identification of important macroscopic features.

Keys an important tool in identification will be introduced and a range of different formats will be used.

This course includes:

  • Field visits during which an understanding of the ecology of fungi particularly their feeding strategies will be appreciated.
  • How to collect specimens and prepare them for examination in indoor sessions will be covered.
  • During indoor work participants will develop skills in using keys to identify to genus and become familiar with important features of fungi that are needed for identification. Identification to their major groups.

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

Walking in woodlands looking at fungi is a slow process and little ground is covered and will not involve any exertion.  The ground may however be uneven and muddy in places so care is needed.

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: Paul Nichol

Paul Nichol is an experienced field mycologist having worked in adult education for Nottingham University and the WEA where he taught Field Mycology and has taught for the FSC for many years. He has been involved with the setting up of Fungi study groups in Nottinghamshire and Cumbria, in Cumbria he is the county recorder.

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

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

Example Timetable


The course will begin at 10.00am.

The course will begin with a field trip to a local woodland to observe fungi in situ become familiar with their ecology and feeding strategies and learn collecting techniques.

Returning to the centre with a range of specimens we will then set them out into their major groups and begin to learn something of the terminology involved with recognising the main macro features of the fungi which are important in making an identification.

We will set out a display of specimens that we identify.

The first day will finish at 19.00pm.


Day begins at 10.00am.

During the second day we will continue with identifications, use a microscope to look at spores and foray around the centre to make further collections form identification.

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 15:00pm 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.
  • A rigid plastic or cardboard box to transport small specimens (No plastic bags).
  • A penknife (if available).
  • Notebook, pencil/pen.
  • Hand lens* or some sort of magnifying glass.
  • Fungi Field Guides if you have them.
  • Camera if you wish to take photos of fungi.

Reading Materials:

  • “An Initial Guide to the Identification of Mushrooms & Toadstools” by Paul Nichol which will be used in conjunction with field guides, copies will be available.