Fungus fun in the UK’s favourite park


Clitocybe nebularisOn Sunday 18 November, about 40 people joined local expert Keir Mottram for a Fungus Foray in Victoria Park. A fine sunny morning added to the enjoyment, as Keir was able to show people a good range of colourful and weird-looking mushrooms, brackets and earth balls. These included fine displays of the Shaggy Scalycap (above) and Clouded Funnel (left), and colourful species such as the Redlead Roundhead and the beautiful purple Wood Blewitt (below). The latter is good to eat, but never eat any mushrooms you find growing wild unless you are absolutely certain of the identity of the mushroom, and also sure that the ground it’s growing on is not contaminated.

Wood Blewitt


Perhaps less welcome, especially to those responsible for Honey Funguslooking after the park’s trees, were large numbers of Honey Fungus (left), a parasitic species which can kill a tree.

Keir provided a wealth of information about each species, including warnings of which were poisonous or hallucinogenic, and everyone enjoyed their morning among the mushrooms.

Victoria Park’s users clearly love their park very much, as it has just been named the nation’s favourite park, beating over 1400 other parks from all over the UK to win the People’s Choice Award. More than 7,000 votes were cast in the poll, organised by the Keep Britain Tidy Group’s Green Flag Plus Partnership. Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman was delighted, describing Victoria Park as “Tower Hamlets’ crown jewel”.

All photos by John Archer


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