Surveying with the HFRG
These are just a few quick notes about what happens on our surveys and some tips for those who are new to surveying.
Surveys are held at weekends commencing at 10am. If you are delayed and let us know we will look out for you, although mobile phones are not reliable in rural areas. The survey leader will guide us around the site informing us about any special mycological or safety points. Surveys finish mid or late afternoon with a break at lunchtime to eat our packed lunches. Progress depends upon what we are finding and varies from member to member depending upon their interests, and also how much time is taken photographing or discussing interesting finds. We do regroup fairly regularly and sound a horn if we think someone has lost contact. We observe our code to minimise our environmental impact as much as possible.
Equipment you need to carry is minimal and could include a x10 hand lens to look at small fungi and various sized containers or a flat open basket to hold specimens in for later identification. Fungi in plastic bags tend to rapidly disintegrate. You might want to bring paper to make notes on and a small field guide to help identification.
Personal safety should always be your first concern so do consider these few points.
- Some fungi are poisonous and apart from observing our code you should not eat any fungi you have not positively identified.
- The weather can change rapidly so do bring suitable warm weatherproof clothes and footwear.
- The terrain can be slippery or steep and the ground uneven or full of holes which could cause injury. Do be aware of overhanging branches, loose fences and styles when your thoughts are concentrated on an interesting fungus.
- Do keep in contact with the group and let someone know if you leave early. Do bring sounding devices (eg whistle), compasses, GPS and maps in case you do become detached from the group.
- Mobile phones, whilst invaluable at times, should not be relied on as your only means of seeking help due to variable reception in rural areas.
- If you do bring a knife to remove specimens do make sure it is legal.