Head down to the woods to have a really fun-gi time this half-term

ONE of the county’s most prodigious fungi hunters will be going in search of mushrooms and toadstools in Chambers Farm Wood.

Ken Rowland, 84, from Skellingthorpe, has made thousands of fungi sightings since taking up an interest in the subject 40 years ago.

Now he’ll lead a public forage through the 900-acre Forestry Commission beauty spot near Wragby on Saturday, October 22 together with fellow expert Ray Halstead, from Middle Rasen.

Until recently Ken was the county fungi recorder, responsible for collating reports and managing 58,000 records from across Lincolnshire.

He rates Chambers as among the best places in the county to get to grips with the weird organism.

He explained: “On a good day we can spot up to 100 different species, but you need to be very careful because only a handful of these will be edible.

“Others can be deadly poisonous, so beware!

“Fungi are totally unpredictable which is part of their fascination.

“They can appear and disappear very quickly and new discoveries are always possible.

“It would be great to see younger folk taking a deeper interest.

“Learning how to identify species is something best learned from others out in the woods, rather than just simply from a book.” Ken, who is past president of the Lincolnshire Naturalist’s Union, says that about 4,500 different kinds of mushrooms and toadstools have been logged in Lincolnshire.

Many are brightly coloured like Fly Agaric, the family red and white toadstools of nursery rhythms, or Plums and Custard, a red and yellow specimen, but others are hidden away and rarely recognised for what they are.

The two hour walk meets at 10am at the Chambers Farm Wood Centre, off the B1202 Wragby to Bardney Road, at 10am and costs £5 per person.

Booking is required on 01623 822447.

Wear suitable footwear.