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The New Forest is a special and nationally-important are for fungi.

This is probably one of the best areas in Europe for the richness of species, as well as a stronghold for many rare and endangered species, and even some still being discovered that are new to science.

New Forest fungi can be found in the woodland, the grassland and the heathland. In heathland habitat, they tend to be rather small, brown and difficult to accurately identify, although when the heather is interspersed by gorse bushes somewhat larger fungi may be seen growing on the branching gorse.

All fungi are very important because they add to the biodiversity of the New Forest, and they are an essential part of the fragile ecosystem and ‘web of life’. Besides being essential rotters and recyclers (we would otherwise be completely overwhelmed by leaf litter and fallen trees), they provide food for some animals and may be vital to many invertebrates to enable them to complete their life cycles.

Please look but don’t pick

The Forestry Commission encourages people to get out into the Forest to enjoy seeing fungi in autumn, but please do not pick fungi. Respect the natural environment of the New Forest and leave it for others to admire.

The New Forest Crown lands, managed by the Forestry Commission make up about half of the area of the National Park and the majority of the New Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Commercial harvesting is not permitted and foray leaders must obtain a licence.

If you have any questions please visit



'Please leave fungi for other people to enjoy. Fungi are essential to the New Forest’s fragile ecosystem.'

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