We dedicate October purely to group fungi ID walks - Fungi Foray's. It is a short season and we want to be able to make the most of it!
We often get asked about private fungi walks. Matt is currently not planning on running private Fungi ID walks as the group sessions seem to work really well as there are more eyes on the hunt. It's surprising how 10 people can walk by a mushroom and then the last person spots it! They camouflage so well and if Matt is busy explaining something else they can be easily missed. Also, he is an anxious soul and worries as fungi are fickle, as you can imagine, there are no guarantees we will find edible species or sufficient quantities. Only doing a handful of group walks each year seems to work best. If only Cornwall were as prolific as the forests further up country!
Matt will always stop to discuss any fungi found on any walk, but there is only (sometimes) the odd few on his plant foraging routes as they like very different habitats. Also with mushroom hunting you are in a very different mental 'zone' so it can be hard to switch from plant foraging and back again.
Please note Matt doesn't actually offer mushroom foraging, he offers fungi identification sessions. The two can be quite different. You need to have a basic knowledge of the different features and structure of the 15,000 species of fungi in the UK to be able to safely ID edible mushrooms to forage as food. There is no way of looking at a mushroom and knowing if it is edible, you need to learn the skills to be able work out what species you have and then you can determine the edibility.
On his sessions it is amazing how many varieties you can find on a short walk. It is very mindful experience, totally immersing yourself in the nature around you, focusing on the ground and hedgerows in front of you, scanning for your next discovery. On an ID walk we can find between 10 and 40 species, and 2 and 10 edible species.
You can use any type of foraging gift voucher that you have towards a Fungi Foray ID session if you wanted to.