You are really missing out if you have not had an opportunity to visit the Solway Firth. It is rightly categorised as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Prone to flooding, it is used primarily by local farmers for feeding their stock at various times of the year.
It was not always so. Once it was part of the frontier of the Roman Empire and more recently in the 14th Century a battleground between England and Scotland. Go out with a metal detector and you may find coins, old weapons and more...
Recently, Nick got wind of a different kind of opportunity: foraging on the Solway Marshes for mushrooms. It took him no time at all to organise an expedition consisting of two men, five children and a basket, to pick his favourite funghi foods. In London Nick would occasionally return from Clapham Common with a mushroom or two, however on this occasion he returned triumphant with a whole basketful, including puffballs (yes, they are mushrooms and yes, you don't just stand on them) and put the locals with their carrier bags to shame. His sister would have gladly walked through Crouch End, her favourite shopping place of all time, with Nick on this occasion.
I was tasked to cook the feast with strict instructions to brush, not wash, these delicacies. I have to admit that, fried gently in olive oil, they tasted superb, although the puffballs were a bit weird though! We have over 50 different variety of funghi in our woods; however always remember to be very careful - its far too easy to get a poisonous one.
If you're not sure, its not worth it. I would not trust myself to put them on a plate in fear of not making it past the first mouthful. Good luck!