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Just metres from some of Britain’s busiest roads, micro-forests of fungi sprout from the undergrowth. Mycologist Dr Mark Spencer pinpoints some striking examples he spotted in central London and explains their vital ecological role.
Autumn is the best time to look for fungi, as it's when most produce their visible fruiting body. But more than 12,000 species live around the UK and plenty of them fruit in other seasons.
Important: Some fungi are extremely poisonous. If you are thinking about eating fungi, you need to be absolutely sure they are safe.
'Make sure you get expert advice,' advises Mark, 'and join a local group of forayers to build up your experience.'
... or that it helped you learn something new. Now we're wondering if you can help us.
Every year, more people are reading our articles to learn about the challenges facing the natural world. Our future depends on nature, but we are not doing enough to protect our life support system.
British wildlife is under threat. The animals and plants that make our island unique are facing a fight to survive. Hedgehog habitats are disappearing, porpoises are choking on plastic and ancient woodlands are being paved over.
But if we don't look after nature, nature can't look after us. We must act on scientific evidence, we must act together, and we must act now.
Despite the mounting pressures, hope is not lost. Museum scientists are working hard to understand and fight against the threats facing British wildlife.
For many, the Museum is a place that inspires learning, gives purpose and provides hope. People tell us they 'still get shivers walking through the front door', and thank us for inspiring the next generation of scientists.
To reverse the damage we've done and protect the future, we need the knowledge that comes from scientific discovery. Understanding and protecting life on our planet is the greatest scientific challenge of our age. And you can help.
We are a charity and we rely on your support. No matter the size, every gift to the Museum is critical to our 300 scientists' work in understanding and protecting the natural world.
From as little as £2, you can help us to find new ways to protect nature. Thank you.