At the beginning of the 1990s the interest in seeking out and identifying mushrooms and toadstools in the UK saw a strong increase due to the highly successful Channel 4 TV series, Mushroom Magic. The ABFG was founded in 1996 by Michael Jordan, the writer and presenter of the series who is also author of books on fungi including the Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe. The Trust is committed to bringing more people into amateur mycology. There is now an increasingly pressing need to know more about our UK stocks of fungi because we need to introduce better measures to conserve them.
As an organisation we serve local groups but the Trust is based on individual membership for anyone who wants to explore the world of fungi whether on their own or as part of a group of like-minded people. We look after interests of many of the foray groups in the United Kingdom, including the benefit of our Public Liability Insurance cover. Our aim is to support mycological enthusiasts at all stages of the 'learning curve' in their foraying and other activities concerned with fungi.
The Trust is closely involved with fungal conservation. We co-operate with Natural England, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, and with county conservation Trusts. The Trust has been involved in the preparation of the Conservation of Wild Mushrooms Code of Practice and it manages the CATE2 national fungus records database. We are committed to the sponsorship of new recording groups and to encouraging people of all ages and experience into amateur mycology as the way forward for the future.
The Forayer quarterly magazine represents the interests, views and concerns of field mycologists as well as being strongly informative about all aspects of amateur field mycology. The focus is on the practical interests, inquiries and problems confronting field enthusiasts. Articles range from explanation of fundamentals to more detailed discussion but always with an eye to collecting, identifying and recording fungi discovered in the field.
The Trust is currently engaged in production of a series of training DVDs for amateur enthusiasts at all stages of their understanding.