The members of the Wimbledon Common Nature Club, supported by The London Wildlife Trust, met for a session on ‘Fungi Foray’, exploring Wimbledon Common for mushrooms and toadstools, led by Fabrice Boltho, of The South London Botanical Institute.
At the Information Centre they learnt about the life cycle of mushrooms and toadstools, the pores, gills and teeth, underneath the cap which spread spores for reproduction.
Also their symbiotic relationship with trees, where they exchange minerals and carbohydrates.
Their decomposing abilities, helping to break down dead wood and other plant and animal material, they are one of nature’s great recyclers.
The children and their families then went out on to the common where they found many different types of fungi which included the Fly Agaric – the red fairy-tale mushroom, Common Puff Ball, Birch Polypore, Wood Blueit, Penny Bun, Deceiver, Brown Roll Rim, Osterlings, Aniseed toadstool, Sulphur Tuft, Blusher, Poisonpie, Milk Cap, Shaggy Inkcap and Honey Fungus.
The fungi will be used for fungi identification, educational workshops run by Fabrice Boltho, at The South London Botanical Institute, 323 Norwood Road, Tulse Hill, every Monday 5pm until 8pm until Monday, November 25 – dubbed Magic Mushroom Mondays.
Auriel Glanville, club leader, said: “The children and their families spent a fascinating morning with Fabrice, finding so many mushrooms and toadstools, a real treasure trove of fungi that you can easily walk past, unless you are with an expert. So a very big thank you to him for opening our eyes and imparting his knowledge to us.”
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