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Fascinating Fungi

Last modified: 19 August 2014

Fly agaric, close up with water dripping from cap

Fly agaric

Image: Lucinda King

Fungi may be considered by some to be the ugly duckling of Britain’s wildlife, but get up close and personal with a fly agaric toadstool and its natural beauty becomes startlingly apparent, as the Eastern Moors Partnership is setting out to demonstrate with a special event.

On Saturday 20 September, the Eastern Moors, part of the Peak District National Park on the western edges of Sheffield, is hosting a ‘Fungi Foray Walk and Wonder’. The event will be led by expert mycologist Kevin Gilfedder, who has been studying fungi for more than 25 years, is an associate of the British Mycological Society and an experienced foray leader.

He said: “Fungi are a fascinating and important part of the environment.  Once you have become aware of fungi, a walk in the woods will never be the same again - where you previously passed by, you will now see the woodland floor come alive with a wealth of life you never noticed before."

During the walk people will explore Ramsley Moor looking for moorland and woodland fungi species, discovering the beauty of waxcaps, the stories behind the poisonous fly agaric and the multiple uses of bracket fungi.

Rachel Bennett, Eastern Moors Partnership Project Manager, said: “Fungi is the understated hero of the natural world, quietly carrying out its essential role in the cycle of life: decomposing dead plant and animal matter, bringing minerals to plants, and being a food source for invertebrates and mammals. Its role is comprehensive and often overlooked.”

The Eastern Moors Partnership recognises the importance of fungi, going to great lengths to preserve and enhance some of the rarest species.

Rachel added: “An area of Ramsley Moor has been fenced, and Gregory’s Field behind Froggatt Edge has been re-walled as waxcaps are present. This enables us to graze the two areas in a different way to the rest of the moor, using sheep which graze the vegetation shorter than cattle, providing the best conditions for waxcaps to thrive. “

The Fungi Foray - Walk and Wonder will start at 10am at Shillito Woods car park, on Fox Lane, finishing at 2pm.  The walk costs £5 per person, and is open to adults and accompanied children, aged 12 years and over. For further information and to book a place, call 07738 738844 or email

Participants should bring a packed lunch and wear sturdy footwear, long trousers and outdoor clothing appropriate for the weather. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.

To find out more about events throughout the year visit


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