When you find small, inconspicuous mushrooms sprouting out across your lawn, it’s hard to imagine that these odd looking life forms are playing one of the most important roles on the planet. Their job is to break down all sorts of organic matter so that nutrients can be used over and over again; they are the recyclers of the natural world.
Throughout the year fungi live underground, as a system of microscopic root-like filaments that join together to form mycelium. The fruiting bodies that we see are the equivalent of flowers to the plant kingdom; they help the fungi reproduce by releasing many millions of spores into the air to colonize new land. These weird, unearthly structures come in a diverse range of shapes, colours and textures, some give off putrid smells while other are deadly toxic.
Most of these fungi photographs are taken in the fields and woods near Witney, Oxfordshire.