The aim of the Dean Fungus Group is to identify and record all species of fungi growing in the region in support of better informed conservation.

Please note that it is not the function of the group to lead people to sites to collect edible fungi, and we are not insured to comment on the edibility of fungi.

Edible fungi should only be picked where they are plentiful and common.  All forayers should be familiar with the Mushroom Picker’s Code and the BMS guidelines on  the Drugs Act in relation to “magic mushrooms.” It is illegal to pick or to possess any fungus listed as containing any drug listed in the act.

Picking fungi in the Forest of Dean for trade or for use in restaurants is strictly forbidden.

It is important to eat only specimens which are in good condition and you need to be 100% certain of their identity.

When eating a species of fungus for the first time, consume just a small amount and keep some in the fridge.  Fungi which are labelled as edible in guidebooks can cause adverse reactions in some people.

Fungi should also be thoroughly cooked;  some fungi, such as Wood Blewits, are toxic when raw or undercooked.

In recent years there have been numerous instances of mushroom poisoning in the U.K., resulting in illness and death.  A famous author and some members of his family became seriously ill after eating what they thought were chanterelles.   They ended up requiring long term kidney dialysis and were lucky to survive.  Similarly, a member of the public on the Isle of Wight picked and ate fungi from her garden, which turned out to be the deadly but innocent-looking Death Cap; she died as a result.

If in doubt – don’t!!