We’ve teamed up with an old school friend Nick Aubin to start guiding Fungi forays in search out wild mushrooms and toadstools in Jersey.
The difference between a Mushroom and Toadstool is not clear. The term gets used interchangeably. A rough guide is the nicer ones get called Mushrooms while the ugly ones are referred to Toadstools!
It’s not a foraging event as frankly the identification of fungi that is safe and not safe to eat is a lot more tricky than I’d thought. Get it wrong and you could get very very ill (or worse). Nick is a very keen Mycologist so he gets called in by the local hospital whenever someone arrives with suspected fungi poisoning. Just chatting with him about the complexities of identification a pretty good reason to look but not eat.
In the short time of the guided walk it’s not really feasible to teach you the skills to safely forage for edible fungi in Jersey. Sadly, unlike in France and Europe, local pharmacists are not trained to be able to identify fungi. This is one of the reasons why you often see window displays in French chemists to help people safely identify local fungi.
Most of us just ignore fungi, but the more you learn the more fascinating the fungi kingdom is. There are over 6000 species and many are hard to identify. Around 600 fungi have been identified in Jersey.
What makes the walks fun is that it is quite possible you might find some rare specimens. Also, the areas we walk in are full of history. Just need to be prepared to get a bit muddy and observe and photograph.
The walks are a bit limited to the seasons. We may have been complaining about the very wet summer but for the mycologist this is a prefect opportunity this year to find many different varieties of fungi in Jersey.
Our local newspaper published a great feature on our guided fungi walks in Jersey with Nick. More dates are listed on our web-page. So long as it stays nice and damp we hope to organise more walks during the Autumn, Winter and Spring months in Jersey.