New Forest Fungi and Mushrooms
Mushrooms in the New Forest thrive on the grassland, heath land and in the damp ancient woodlands. They are vital to insects and trees of the forest as a source of food or shelter and have been found to tremendously help the growth of trees.
In the New Forest alone there are around 2,700 species. You can find both edible and extremely poisonous fungi in the New Forest, such as the Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria) that can be deadly. There are plenty of edible mushrooms that can be found, however commercial collecting is forbidden.
Going on a mushroom foray with one of the many New Forest companies can offer great expertise to help you identify edible mushrooms. To name a few edible ones, Penny Buns, Chanterelles and field mushrooms can all be found. Usually the best time of year for mushroom growth is in autumn.
The health qualities of mushrooms are beneficial for skin, teeth and bones. They are packed with vitamin B, highly phosphorous, and one of the most antioxidant vegetables. They can provide a great source of protein for vegetarians. These qualities have been enjoyed since ancient times with similar uses as medicine.
Fungi in the forest however can be appreciated not only as food but also for its amazing and individual appearance. Many of the mushrooms are very bright in colour and stand out against everything else in the forest. As there is such variety you never know what you’re going to find in a dark hidey-hole.