Food for thought

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A good crop of mushrooms is predicted in Notts this year– but experts warn that you need to know your onions before going out foraging.

Scores of species are sprouting forth boosted by recent damp weather, but there’s no simple way of telling the tasty ones from those which are deadly.

Now the Forestry Commission has teamed up with leading mycologist Dr Patrick Harding to run workshops in 1,200 hectare (3,000 acre) Sherwood Pines Forest Park, near Clipstone, on 19 and 29 October.

“Some gourmet species look very similar to lethal specimens like the Death Cap,” said Dr Harding, who has studied the subject for 30 years.

“The UK has over 4,000 different species so it can be bewildering. And just because a fungus is brightly coloured doesn’t necessarily mean its poisonous. Meanwhile the pure white Destroying Angel lives up to its name. The only way to identify them is to arm yourself with knowledge.”

Dr Harding will lead a foray to collect samples and then shed light on the fact and fiction of the fungi world. Workshops run from 11am to 3.30pm and are ideal for beginners and youngsters over 12 years old. Booking is required on 01623 822447. The cost is £20 per person.