Fungal foray

Most of the flowers have gone over but there are masses of seeds, berries and fungi. But although mid September's fairly early in the fungus season, wherever Bill Oddie looks he's treading on them. You soon begin to get your eye in and notice these sort of prime fungi sites for example the base of a tree trunk, perfect. Take my word for it I'm kneeling on several different species behind here. Bill finds a baby toad nearly on a toadstool - actually it's not strictly speaking a toadstool, its name is an earth ball, and not one to have a nibble of. This is an oak milkcap. This is an oak tree and a lot of these fungi are associated with a particular tree. Called a milkcap not because it looks like a milkcap, but because if you break it apparently this milky stuff comes out. It's reputed to smell like bed bugs. Now who the dickens' has ever smelt a bed bug, let alone knelt down and sniffed a mushroom and thought, oh smells like bed bugs? Actually the simple fact is it smells like a mushroom, so presumably bedbugs smell like mushrooms? This is a whole group of mushrooms known as deceivers because they're all basically the same species but they're very variable so people are always getting confused and saying what's this one and they look it up and say oh that's a deceiver and they say ah this is different, but no it isn't it's a deceiver. All deceivers. Something totally undeceptive, absolutely unambiguous is the boletus also known as a cep I think they're quite common in the gourmet food shops actually but the name Bill really likes is penny bun. Next is a blusher, so-called because it can look a lot pinker than it is. And the tawny grisette, reputedly delicious and awarded the golden knife and fork in the edible fungus guide. And recognise these? Chanterelles - a gourmet's delight at my very feet, but be warned because there are related fungi that look very similar that people have made the mistake of eating with some very serious consequences. My attitude without a doubt is just enjoy the way they look. This Loch Lomond rarity looks rather like a bit of beach mast or the fruits of a plane tree - these are hedgehog puffballs, a speciality of the region.

Release date:


6 minutes


Role Contributor
PresenterBill Oddie
Sound EngineerChris Watson
Camera OperatorJohn Aitchison
Camera OperatorRobin Riseley
ProducerStephen Moss
DirectorLucy Meadows

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