BY TOBY PORTER
Members of the Wimbledon Common Nature Club, supported by the London Wildlife Trust, went on a Fungi Foray with Fabrice Boltho, who leads fungi walks for The South London Botanical Institute.
The children and their families found many varieties on Wimbledon Common, including the fairytale mushroom fly agaric, hairy curtain Crust, tawny funnel, common earth ball, milkcaps, brittlegills, boletes, jelly fungi, polypores, russulas, chantrelles, sulphur tuft, turkeytail, amethyst deceiver, wood woollyfoot, cloudy agaric, bracket fungi, waxcaps, golden spindles, brown rollrim and galerina.
They examined them with eyeglasses, magnifying glasses and mirrors to see the underneath of the mushrooms. When they went back to the information centre, they examined the fungi in more detail under microscopes and learnt how to make a spore print.
Auriel Glanville, club leader, said: “We had a lovely sunny morning after an evening of rain, which was perfect for mushrooms to appear overnight for us.
“We were fortunate to have such a knowledgeable guide as Fabrice, who really enthused the children in their search for fungi.”
At the end of the session, Fabrice took the fungi back to The South London Botanical Institute to show to his Monday evening class. Their next session will be on Sunday, December 3 – Natural Seasonal Decorations.
The group for six to 14-year-olds meets at the information centre, Wimbledon Common, from 10am to noon. Newcomers 9.50am please. Donations are welcome. Call Auriel Glanville on 020 8540 6154 or 0783 791 0072 or email email@example.com
PICTURES: AURIEL GLANVILLE, THE STUDIO, 127 FLORENCE ROAD, WIMBLEDON SW19 8TL