The London Fungus Group was established and became affiliated with the British Mycological Society in 2000 in response to the immense amount of scientific data being collated through Fungi to be With, a group dedicated to introducing the world of fungi to the public through walks and workshops . It became apparent that much of the fungi information being collected would be invaluable to the British Mycological Society and to the Mycological Dept. at Kew Gardens.
Group Leader of the London Fungus Group is Andy Overall who, in addition to cataloguing records and voucher specimens for Kew, has conducted a number of surveys in the larger green spaces surrounding London. He is also a regular contributor to Field Mycologist and writes numerous articles on the subject.
To many, Andy Overall is considered a pioneer in this field, writes Peter Marren, a natural history writer and freelance conservationist. The following quote is from Peter Marren’s book Mushrooms Volume 1 “From the 1990s onwards there has been an explosion in foraying at a local level. It has led to the formation of many local and country based fungus groups. The stimulus for their formation was often a local enthusiast and expert, around whom a gallant band of keen beginners coalesced. Alan Outen is at the heart of activites in Hertfordshire, Derek Schafer in neighbouring Buckinghamshire and Andy Overall in the London area. Further afield, Liz Holden in Grampion region and David Mitchel in Northern Ireland have revolutionized foraying in their respective regions. Upwards of 30 fungus groups now operate over much of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”