The term “Fungus Foray” dates back to 1868, when Dr Henry Graves Bull advertised a “Foray amongst the Funguses” for members of the Woolhope Club in Herefordshire. The name stuck, and this is now seen as the archetype of all subsequent fungus forays. A movement began that spread rapidly across Britain and the rest of Europe and led to the promotion of fungi from obscurity among the lower plants to its modern place as a distinct biological Kingdom.
The word “foray” indicates an excursion, or “field meeting”, and has nothing to do with the indiscriminate plundering of fungi known as “foraging”.
Please arrive in good time, as forays set off promptly at 10.30am.
Forays often take place on rough, uneven or sloping ground, so it is important to wear stout footwear. A walking stick and waterproof clothing are useful.
If it is necessary to collect a fungus for identification, it is important to dig up the whole of the specimen, including the part underground; this is because the base of the fungus is usually needed for us to identify the specimen accurately.
An open basket or trug is useful for carrying any fungi you find. Plastic bags are less effective, as specimens are more likely to become damaged in them. We need fungi to be kept in good condition, for identification purposes.
The foray leader will generally give a brief overview of the route to be taken, before we move off. The leader will record fungi as we go along. It may be necessary to take home any specimens which need closer examination to identify. Sometimes it is essential to use a microscope or chemical tests, to arrive at a final identification.
General guidelines for picking fungi can be found here.
Fungi can be found on the ground, in the leaf litter, growing on trees, rotting wood, fallen branches and even on leaves and plants.
A list will be compiled of all the finds, which is circulated to the members. The finds are also recorded on national databases of the British Mycological Society and the Association of British Fungus Groups.
Well behaved dogs are welcome on forays, as are children accompanied by a responsible adult.
Please note it is important not to consume any raw fungi and to ensure hands are thoroughly washed after forays.
If you wish to bring a guest, please agree this with the DFG secretary beforehand, as our public liability insurance limits the number of non-members; names and addresses of guests will also be necessary for insurance purposes.
Details of our forays are available to members (see Join Our Group.) It is a condition of joining that information about our foray locations and finds are not shared with any third party.