Mushroom ecosystem identification walk to Toap ki baid forest area

World Biodiversity Day nature walk involving 15 educators and 45 students from 15 schools took place on 25th May, 2022. Shrey along with other EarthJust members facilitated this walk with the assistance of a local forest guard and District Science Supervisor - Amreesh Sharma. The mushroom ecosystem identification walk was conducted to prepare the participants for the upcoming monsoon season which is the best time to explore wild mushrooms. With the support of the Deputy Director of Elementary Education, Solan, and the Forest Dept, Solan the walk was conducted successfully.

Toap ki baid forest area in Solan is a mixed forest dominated by Neolitsea pallen and Pinus roxburghii trees. Here, the orientation took place where participants were briefed about forest safety, identification of mushroom habitat, spotting mushrooms, and different kinds of mushrooms. Safety norms such as walking cautiously due to the slippery nature of pine needles, avoiding panicking in situations where they encounter snakes or are bitten by a snake, and the first aid that is to be provided were highlighted during the safety training session.

The entire experience of Mushroom Ecosystem Identification was gamified and a total of 60 participants were then divided into groups of 4. 15 kits were then handed over to these groups, 1 kit per team. Each participant received 2 tags which they had to place in areas they felt would serve as mushroom habitat in the coming monsoon season.

The participants were then informed that they will be invited to the spot 2 months later, during peak monsoon season to see if their selected location is bearing mushrooms or not. Based on this the schools will be evaluated post 2 months during the monsoon season.

Another session was conducted for the participants to make them familiar with lichens, their morphology, and their habitat. Lichens are complex life forms that involve fungi and algae, they are often found in damp or shady places. The participants were provided with lenses to identify and observe lichens.
The participants then collected lichen specimens and observed them under a magnifying lens.

Overall the experience was very enriching for all participants and they are looking forward to the next session which will take place in two months. All participants will take a walk around the same spots and check if the spots they tagged have mushrooms growing. The schools will be then graded on this basis.

If you want to host mushroom nature walks for your school or community, contact: Shrey Gupta, phone: 8894486066, Email:

You can check our collection of amazing mushroom photograhs contributed by the citizens across India here:

Posted on June 23, 2022 11:32 AM by shrey_gupta shrey_gupta


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