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charity in mycological conservation

Family Membership

Children

Children are the fungus conservationists of the future. In the experience of many well-versed foray organisers, children frequently make the best mushroom hunters; they are, after all, closer to the ground and generally have very sharp eyes!

As a general rule we suggest that children under the age of six should not be brought along unless mum and dad are willing to carry them when they get tired! Forays usually last for about two hours or a little more.

 

The Trust encourages families to join for a small additional cost. We believe strongly that attracting as many people as possible to mushroom hunting is crucial for the future conservation of fungi in the UK, many of which are under threat and some of which are facing extinction.

The majority of fungi are safe to handle and with a few simple rules emphasised at the start of each outing, children can happily join a foray. Parents should bring a few tissues or wet wipes along, but even if someone picks a seriously poisonous specimen they cannot absorb toxins through the skin (it's not biologically possible) and short of eating the specimen they will do themselves no harm.

We have frequently worked with the National Trust in certain areas of the country running children's Saturday morning mushroom hunts. They have proved extremely popular and we are looking to extend the range of these events.

Getting young people along to forays has a therapeutic effect on everyone and it makes the occasion more fun. But it also serves a much more important purpose, because it can quickly change traditional perceptions that are so readily instilled into children: namely that toadstools are dangerous and require kicking over.

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