In autumn the Sid valley comes alive with what is probably the most biodiverse and populous group of organisms in the world. Fungi.

Without fungi life would cease to exist on this planet. They are the foundation of most life cycles and without them life as we know would no longer exist. For example a teaspoon of soil can contain around 100,000 fungi and over over a billion bacteria. And, across the globe, there are around 70,000 species of fungi found in soil.

The fungi in the gallery below were all photographed in the Sid valley, many on woodlands and some in grass fields. Some are easily recognisable but many are very difficult to identify with certainty and mycologists have to use a microscope to be certain which species they are identifying. So, though some are edible and tasty, many are poisonous and care must be taken in identifying them.

As mycologists say, “All fungi are edible once, but many kill you before you get a second chance”

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