The Wild Side of Life! - SSMC Members Area
Here you will find documents and useful resources to assist with learning to identify mushrooms and other fungi, locating foraying sites and staying within the law.
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS ARE PRESENTED HERE FOR EDUCATIONAL USE. THE COPYRIGHTS ARE HELD BY VARIOUS AUTHORS AND THEY ARE PRESENTED HERE FOR USE ONLY BY FIELD MYCOLOGY STUDENTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS MADE IN COPYRIGHT LAW FOR EDUCATIONAL USE. PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHORS IS REQUIRED TO SHARE OR PUBLISH THESE DOCUMENTS IN ANY OTHER CONTEXT.

Understanding the Mushroom ID Books - A key to the language and practices of field mycologists.

This document was put together by Natascha Kenyon, with additional sections by Fred Gillam. The diagrams used are all taken from various educational guides as is permissible under provisions for educational use. Do not share as this will be a breach of multiple copyrights held by various people. Original References to works included in this document available on request.

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This logic diagram will help you to place a gilled mushroom with a central stem (so not oysters / oysterlings / polypopres / brackets / boletes / hedgehogs) into broad family / genus groupings. Copyright Fred Gillam 2016. NOT FOR PUBLIC SHARING.

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Mushroom Odours, an extract taken from Rumack & Spoerke, 1996 A Handbook of Mushroom Poisoning: Diagnosis and Treatment

NOTE: SORRY for the blurry quality of this scan, which is only just about readable. If anyone would like to type it up to improve the quality this would be much appreciated as I do not have a copy of the original book which is out of print. This is a really useful document!

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A picture of a toxic web cap / Cortinarius species that looks like a wood blewit Clitocybe / Lepista nuda...(a number of them do), with the characteristic rust brown spore print of a Cortinarius.

Picture attribution: unknown



A picture of the spore print of a wood blewit, CLitocybe / Lepista nuda; contrast the pale buff colour with a hint of peach/pink against the dark rusty brown of the Cortinarius above.



A picture of a funeral bell, containing the death cap toxins, this mushroom is to be avoided if you are searching for honey fungus (Armillaria species) and is actually even more similar to the sheathed woodtuft, Kuehneromyces mutabilis, which is a good edible species. Note that the funeral bell does not grow with the stems clustered together at the base but rather in swarms, though may be close together. The caps can be two toned when viewed from above and the examples in this picture are perhaps darker than usual.

Pic attribution: Eigenes Werk, Copyleft (Mehrfachlizensierung GFDL, jegliche CC-BY-SA) siehe unten



DOWNLOADABLE FUNGAL KEYS - UK FUNGI

Key to the genus Leccinum (scaber stalked boletes) by Geoffrey Kibby - not quite as up to date as Geoffrey Kibby's latest work but pretty reasonable.

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Key to the genus Lactarius (milk caps) by Patrick Leonard - not quite as up to date as Geoffrey Kibby's latest work but pretty reasonable.

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Key to the genus Xerocomus (red-cracked boletes and allies) by Alan Hills - not quite as up to date as Geoffrey Kibby's latest work but pretty reasonable.

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A quick key to waxcaps - unknown attribution.

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USEFUL LINKS FOR FIELD MYCOLOGISTS

Register your rare and unusual finds with a NBRC - National Biological Records Centre account using irecord. Signing up will give you the ability to record significant finds which will contribute to the pool of knowledge available on fungi conservation in the UK.

https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/

Here is a copy of Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act which lists protected species that you are not allowed to pick. The species listed are mostly plants and there aren't many fungi. The 'hedgehog fungus' listed is actually lion's mane, Hericium erinaceus, so not a hedgehog fungus at all!(toothed rather than spiny).

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69/schedule/8

Here is the current UK Red Data List for fungi. Interestingly there are rarer fungi than those on the list that are unlisted so it really needs some work. This does not have legal weight but is still a good pointer as to what to avoid damaging from a conservation point of view and what to record should you find it.

www.britmycolsoc.org.uk/mycology/conservation/red-data-list/rdl-taxa/

This link goes to Magic Mapping, the government's own detailed mapping system that not only gives you access to routemaps and ordnance survey but by turning on and off the various map layers (right hand side of the display) will enable you to track public access land, SSSI's and nature reserves, Forestry Commission woods, different types of habitat and much more. A valuable resource.

https://www.magic.gov.uk

Check out Explore Woods, a resource run by the Woodland Trust. Just pop in your location and search for woods where walkers are allowed near you. With reviews and maps (right hand side)

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/map/

The UK Fungal Records Database compiled by the British Mycological Society. I include this with some hesitance as it could potentially be mis-used by commercial collectors. Please use it respectfully. It lists all species found on BMS surveys and forays and by members. Rare species locations do not tend to be included. It can be a valuable aid if you are looking for a particular species in your area but please do not pick things that are uncommon or rare and adhere to sensible picking limits.

www.fieldmycology.net/frdbi/frdbi.asp

Best wishes and have fun. Happy hunting!

Fred