A good field guide can greatly help to improve your identification skills, but when starting out, which guide do you choose? The following books are widely considered to be good general guides.


Collins Complete British Mushroom Guide“Complete British Mushrooms and Toadstools” Paul STERRY

2009 Collins Complete Guide ISBN-13: 978-0007232246

This is the group chairman’s current recommended field guide. It has realistic photographs – no digital enhancements here. They are taken in the habitat, with enough species to satisfy both beginners and more experienced forayers. It is also reasonably priced. Find it on Amazon


Roger_Phillips_Book“Mushrooms” Roger PHILLIPS

2006 Pan Macmillan Books  ISBN: 0-330-44237-6

Recently revised, this is now a smaller format version of the original  A4 book.  Over 1250 photos of species with descriptions, which help to show how variable fungi can be!  Easier to carry than its predecessor, although possibly still a little heavy for some. Find it on Amazon


Courtecuisse Mushrooms and Toadstools“Mushrooms & Toadstools of Britain & Europe” Regis COURTECUISSE & DUHEM, B

1995 Collins Field Guide  ISBN 0-00-220025-2

More comprehensive than Phillips, with 3,500 species described, but beware there are a number in it that are not British.  Good illustrations, although some are a little small and the typeface is difficult to read in poor light.  Still appears to be available via standard online bookshops, but may disappear in the face of a re-issue of Bon. Find it on Amazon


Collins Fungi Guide Stephan Buczacki“Collins Fungi Guide” Stefan BUCZACKI, Chris SHIELDS and Denys OVENDEN

2012 Collins Guide ISBN-13: 978-0007242900

2,400 species illustrated in full colour, with detailed notes on identification , including details of similar, confusing species. A beautiful book with a few mistakes and some illustrations are lacking a little. A good selection of resupinate fungi. May be a bit cumbersome for use in the field. Find it on Amazon


Bon“Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and North-Western Europe” Marcel BON

Original edition in 1987 Hodder & Stoughton ISBN-13: 978-0340399354

Out of print, and scarce but worth looking out for in secondhand bookshops.  This is also now true for the French edition. You can sometimes find this book on Amazon