Over 400 types of fungi have been identified in Richmond Park, including Parasol mushrooms that can grow to the size of a saucer and the nationally rare Oak Polypore.
Fungi are ecologically important both in terms of biodiversity and their complex relationships with plants that depend on fungi to supply nutrients to their roots. About 80% of all plants grow in such a 'mutual association' with fungi.
The mushrooms and toadstools you see in the park are the 'fruiting bodies' of these underground fungi. They are vitally important to the reproduction of the fungi and they also provide food and habitat for numerous insects and other animals.
Collecting mushrooms is forbidden in the park as doing so will diminish the population within the ecosystem.