As I'm sure some of you are already aware, our good friend Dave Shorten very sadly passed away in France, a few days ago. Many of you will know Dave well, and many more of you will have attended your first foray, led by Dave. Once met, he was hard to forget: always jovial, generous with his knowledge and expertise, patient with beginners, toting a bugle to call in stragglers, and with an impressively bushy beard!
Dave was an exceptional field mycologist, a great foray leader and so enthusiastic in passing on his knowledge. For those who don't know, Dave started the Cotswold Fungus Group in 1992 when, as a member of the Dean Group, he realised that there was a large, generally 'untapped' wealth of woodland throughout the rest of Gloucestershire and North Wiltshire, closer to where he lived.
Those who know Dave will be very aware of the extraordinary amount of work he did in running the group for over twenty years, as chairman, recorder, secretary, foray leader etc. In this time the group became one of the major contributors of fungal records to the key national databases and, due to Dave's diligence, several CFG woodlands have become sites of importance for fungi. For many years Dave ran two forays every weekend throughout the autumn, as well as running private educational forays and organising a yearly trip to his beloved France, where he and Jenny have lived for the past few years.
Dave not only continued to foray and record in France but has actively helped in teaching, and his superb all round knowledge has proved invaluable at regular fungi expositions, earning him the respect of the mycological community : no mean feat in France! His efforts have been recognised by the french mycological community, from whom he received prestigious awards and decorations.
Typically, Dave was on a foray with the students from Caen University, where apparently he was on his usual sociable form, where he enjoyed a hearty pub lunch; an aspect of the foray that Dave insisted we include in every CFG foray, and which we continue to do so today.
Dave was a true friend of the group, with whom he has kept regular contact, and a good and close friend to many people within it. Aside from the mycology that Dave so loved, and for which he has been so inspirational to so many of us, he will also be remembered as a good friend, a good man, and a generally top bloke. He will truly be missed.
Dr Lee Hayward,