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will you find the fungi

New Forest Fungi – look but don't touch!

The New Forest is a thriving habitat for nature and wildlife including deer, beautiful bluebells and even fungi. There are around 70,000 species of fungi worldwide with around 2,700 of those found within The New Forest National Park.

Fungi or more commonly known as toadstools or mushrooms grow by absorbing the food and water from their surroundings and are nature’s recyclers. Fungi thrive by absorbing nutrients from dead plants and animals; this makes them a vital part of the forest ecosystem.

Also, in the forest ecosystem there are over 1,000 species of insects and creatures dependant on the fungi.

Fungi can be found in an array of places throughout the forest; growing on trees, ancient woodlands and the expansive New Forest heathlands. The best times to seek out fruiting bodies of New Forest fungi is in September, October and early November, however there are some fungi that are visible throughout the year and some being more prevalent during the spring and summer months.

This autumn, the Forestry Commission is launching a new campaign to highlight the importance of the New Forest for fungi, and to appeal to people to support a ‘no-picking’ code on the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Conservation is a vital aspect to keeping the New Forest a beautiful haven’t for its wildlife whilst also being an area of outstanding beauty for visitors to enjoy.

There has been an increasing trend for foraging fungi in recent years and this puts additional pressures on areas such as the New Forest. Some fungi in The New Forest are under threat due with one of the reasons being over collecting.

Due to the growing concern from conservation bodies and very real fears from members of the local community, the Forestry Commission is no longer permitting picking on any scale on the New Forest Crown Lands.

One of the biggest conservation concerns is in regards to commercial collecting, which is not permitted anywhere within The New Forest.

This autumn we appeal to people to look, but don’t pick.