Enjoy fascinating fungi walks in autumn

Enjoy a fungi walk with the National Trust this autumn

Head outdoors and explore our parks and woodlands in search of natures most important kingdom – fungi

When the evenings draw in and the leaves begin to change on the trees, it’s time to get outdoors and discover the world of fungi in all its fascinating forms.

Strange and fascinating they may be but fungi play a vital role in the survival of our world. The mushrooms and toadstools that live in our forests and grasslands are just a small representation of what this kingdom entails.

Fungi spotting

Fungi are everywhere – not just under our feet when we go for a walk, but living on surfaces everywhere, even in the air we breathe. Autumn is the best time to go in search of fungi as they are easiest to spot in these moist conditions when they can feed and grow.

The important part of a fungus, the mycelium, lives underground and is vital for woodland health as they recycle nutrients needed for living plants to thrive. However, in autumn the fungi start to grow and as these fruiting bodies ripen their seeds, known as spores, are released into the air to start the next generation.

There are hundreds of different sorts of fungi, from the very common to the quite rare, and from the edible to the poisonous.

Go on a fungi walk at one of our places to discover what lurks under leaves, in the leaf litter, amongst the grass on the lawns, and protruding from ancient tree trunks and deadwood. You’ll discover a wonderful array of fungal fruiting bodies in all shapes, sizes and colours with fantastically enigmatic names. The scarlet elf cup, the jelly ear and the shaggy inkcap to name but a few.

Go on your own fungi hunt at one of our outdoor places this autumn and see how many different types of fascinating fungi you can spot. Here are some of the top fungi foraging spots:

The Argory - the wooded riverside walks along the River Blackwater are ideal for exploring.

Castle Coole - the wooldland trails are ideal for fungi spotting.

Castle Ward - discover the 21-mile network of family-friendly multi-use trails by bike or foot and see what you can spot.

Downhill Demesne - this grand headland and surrounding woodland paths are rich in fungi.

Mount Stewart - explore the gardens and woodland paths arund the lake or venture into the new trails.

Minnowburn - 128 acres of naturally mixed countryside with riverside, meadow and woodland walks all begging to be explored.

Rowallane Garden - immerse yourself in these expansive gardens that are home to magical plants and of course, fungi.

Enjoy your fungi foray and share your pictures with us at #NTautumnfun 

Note: It is recommended that people do not pick or touch fungi in the wild without expert guidance as species are hard to identify and many are poisonous.