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On Sunday 31st January, the London Fungus Network held their first event of 2021, an online talk with two of Britain’s finest mushroom writers about what inspired them to write books about fungi – and their adventures along the way. Roger Phillips is one of Britain’s most of experienced – and well-loved – mycologists. His enthusiasm for fungi has inspired thousands across our traditionally ‘mycophobic’ country to learn about these mysterious organisms. His book ‘Mushrooms’ (Macmillan, 2006) is a staple in any fungi-enthusiast’s library and is a photographic guide to over 1,250 species. Other works include ‘Mushrooms and Other Fungi of Great Britain and Europe’ (1981), ‘Wild Flowers of Britain’ (1977) and ‘The Worldwide Forager’ (2020). Roger is also a painter and playwright. Eben Grant is Britain’s youngest mushroom writer, having published ‘Eben’s Book of Bampton Mushrooms’ during the 2020 Coronavirus Lockdown at the age of 6(!) Eben’s photographs and descriptions of the mushrooms he found near his home in Devon, England have captured the imagination of children and adults alike, inspiring readers to take a closer look at their local nature. His efforts have raised over £1,200 for the Devon Wildlife Trust, as well as receiving a letter from Sir David Attenborough. They were also joined by Ali McKernan aka The FUNgi Guy for more Mushroom-Based Fun.
Wednesday 19th August 2020 saw the launch of the London Fungus Network, a new initiative to connect mycologically-curious Londoners with the urban Fungal Kingdom. Mushrooms are mysterious. They capture our imagination like no other organisms. Perceived as live-giving, mind-blowing and deadly, they simultaneously inspire fear, wonder and confusion. Against the odds, fungi thrive in big cities like London too. So we launched the London Fungus Network to encourage Londoners to get to know our fungal neighbours. The launch event featured a conversation with Giuliana Furci, founder of Fungi Foundation, about why mushrooms inspire her and her journey from growing up in north London, to becoming a pioneer of fungal research and conservation in Chile. For more details of the London Fungus Network visit @londonfungusnetwork on facebook/instagram.
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