Foray Reports 2019

Patchings Art Centre – 28th September 2019

On a fairly breezy and showery day, seventeen of us met at Patchings Art Centre. This was a first time visit and was an unusual type of venue for us. Today we were following a sculpture trail through the grounds of the Art Centre. It was decided to go along the trail in reverse as it was considered that more fungi would be found nearer the exit end of the trail rather than the entrance side which was more open. Near the exit end was a large pond (complete with a Monet bridge) situated in an area of mixed woodland, although birch and oak predominate on most of the land. As the previous few days had been very wet, we were not to be disappointed and immediately on starting along the grassy path, we found quite a variety of fungi, Galerina vittiformis (Hairy Leg Bell) being the first species found by Mary and Bernard. An adjacent field produced Clavaria acuta (Pointed Club) which was found by Jean (more on that later).   

The area surrounding the pond was indeed productive and we must have spent a good hour here. As soon as we left the pond area, and headed up and around the rest of the trail, fewer species were found. A rather heavy rain shower then put pay to any further findings. 

Two species of fungi found and worthy of a mention were Agaricus altipes found by John B and Hebeloma helodes found by Mike. Both species are Red Data listed. The Agaricus was the fourth Nott’s record and second Nott’s site and the Hebeloma was the second Nott’s record. Another interesting species found was Chroogomphus rutilusor Copper Spike found by David which again was a second record for Notts. Although uncommon in our county, nationally it is occasional to fairly common. 

Just a few of the many other species found were the small Mycena rosea (Rosy Bonnet), found by John, Parasola conopilus (Conical Brittlestem) found by Dorothy and Tricholoma fulvum (Birch Knight) found by Tony. Rupert found Paxillus involutus (Brown Rollrim) and Dorothy and John By. found Clitocybe geotropa (Trooping funnel). Ann found both Laccaria laccata (The Deceiver) and the deformed-looking Laccaria tortilis (Twisted Deceiver). The Inocybe family were represented by Inocybe flocculosa (Fleecy Fibrecap) andInocybe fuscidula found by Howard. Aga found the very aptly named Collybia cirrata (Piggyback Shanklet). 

One very noticeable find was the sculpture marked number 8 on the trail. It was called “Breakthrough” and appeared to look like a very oversized Clavaria acuta (Pointed Club). Very apt for our visit. Altogether we accrued a total of 51 species which isn’t bad going for a first time visit. Our thanks go to Chas Wood, for allowing us to go around the grounds at Patchings to carry out this rather successful foray. 

Jean Powley

Brown Birch Bolete (Leccinum scabrum) 
Photo: Jean Powley
Brown Birch Bolete (Leccinum scabrum) Photo: Jean Powley

RANSOM WOOD, RAINWORTH 18.09.19

The first foray of the season was well attended on a warm dry day by 15 members. It was lovely to see familiar faces and 11 of our party stayed for lunch and a natter.  We had a Hog Roast, which was in fact a special event celebrating 20 years of the business parks operations; really good timing on our part, and our thanks should be extended to Charles Cannon, manager of the estate for inviting us along.

Although the species lists are yet to be completed a few interesting species were recorded.

I rummaged around and found an old favourite – Xylaria carpophilum , Beech Mast Candlesnuff and close by in the woodland litter a bright yellow Calocera viscosa – Yellow Stagshorn. Just as Cathy and I were approaching some elders I suggested we look for Jelly Ear, Auricularia auricula-judae, one second later Cathy pointed it out even if it was a very dry specimen we knew what it was – even on the first foray of the season when we all feel a bit rusty.

The photographers amongst us got some super shots of Sulphur Tuft, Hypholoma fasciculare cascading down rotting stumps and thanks to Marion we also recorded Hypholoma sublateritium, Brick Tuft which is a darker brick red colour on the cap, on birch branch.Some will recall the debate over the boletus, was it or wasn’t it Red-cracked Boletus….well it wasn’t! It turned out after further investigation to be Matt Bolete, Xerocomus pruinatus, thank you Howard.

Di and I did ferret about in the usual area until we found the Common Birds Nest Fungus, Crucibulum laeve, but they were so few in number at this time and under developed too so attention was not drawn to them.

Who else but Mike Clark – he who wears shorts - could find a little Galerina called the Hairy Leg Bell, on the lawns of Ransom Hall, latin Galerina vittiformis.

The wood chip pile turned up some interesting species, including Coprinellus micaecus and Coprinopsis lagopus, Glistening and Hare’s Foot Inkcap respectively along with a little Tubaria dispersa on hawthorn berries, one of my personal favourites – without an English name so I propose we name it Hawthorn Twiglet.

On the wind we could smell the stinkhorns before we saw them, and there were a lot, in all stages of development as eggs and living up to their latin name Phallus impudicus.

And so to the small species Marion found a tiny puffball on the lawn Lycoperdon pratense, and John Brown spotted on a hogweed stem an ‘asco-like’ disc,  Lachnella alboviolascens as well as Nettlerash, Leptosphaeria acuta on old nettle stems. Howard found a rust on White Poplar leaves, Melampsora populnea, called Dog’s Mercury Rust - because its other host is Dog’s Mercury.

Many thanks go to Ransom Wood Business Park for allowing us to roam around the estate.

Forever Green Café is open for lunch Monday to Fridays only if you find yourself in the area. 

A full species list will be available in the future when we have finished debating species identification.

Ann Ward

Xylaria carpophylum , beech mast candle snuff
Photo: Cathy Bundy
Xylaria carpophylum , beech mast candle snuff Photo: Cathy Bundy

Hardwick Hall Bioblitz 29 June 2019

This was the third Spring Foray of the year, (albeit early summer) and a first for us at Hardwick Hall, which has parts in Nottinghamshire but is mainly a Derbyshire location. We had a stall in the stableyard with display boards containing lots of information about fungi, children’s activities including How did Fly Agaric get its spots?, and specimens of fungi from the Nottingham area. The stall was well tended by NFG members: Di, Mike, Tony, Jean, Inga (and husband) who answered questions and identified specimens throughout the day despite the high temperatures. We did two Forays around the park to find fungi throughout the day and we had 22 members of the public accompany us.

Hardwick Hall consisting of around 2500 acres, was too large for a Foray of the full grounds so we decided that in the area known as Lady Spencer’s Wood, containing large oaks and many fallen branches, which are left to decay we would have a good chance of finding specimens. Di and I made a preliminary visit the week before the BioBlitz and found a few samples which was a surprise for the time of year; this may have been due to June being so unusually wet.

We recorded 32 different species of fungi in total, this included the brackets, Artist’s Bracket (Ganoderma applanatum), Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) found by Sam Nunn. The most abundant were the Inkcaps, displayed in pockets throughout the wood these included Glistening Inkcap (Coprinus micaceus), Common Inkcap (Coprinus atramentaria), and Parasola (prev.Coprinus) auricoma. Other interesting species found were Dead Man’s Finger’s (Xylaria polymorpha), Yellow fieldcup (Bolbitus titibans) and a nice finish to the final foray was The Blusher (Amanita rubescens) found by Mike.

It was a glorious day at Hardwick Hall and we hope that members of the public that we interacted with, may develop an interest in these varied and fascinating organisms. We would like to thank Hardwick Hall for inviting us (and looking after us) and NFG members for their help.

Nick Clayton

Glistening Inkcap (Coprinus micaceus)
Photo: Richard Rogers
Glistening Inkcap (Coprinus micaceus) Photo: Richard Rogers

Kirton Wood NR 12th May 2019

For this first spring foray 15 of us gathered at this site not visited by us since autumn 2010. The day was sunny and carpets of wildflowers welcomed us. By the end we had a list of some 20+ fungi, including some from a preliminary visit earlier in the week. Inevitably perhaps at this time of year there were few agarics found, most fungi being crusts, brackets and cushions on dead wood or stems. Of the agarics, Psathyrella spadiceogrisea (Spring Brittlestem – Jean & Inga) and Bolbitius titubans (Yellow Fieldcap – Dorothy) were welcome finds on this spring morning. Both tend to occur early in the year.

Of those fungi on wood, good examples were the tiered brackets of Trametes ochracea and Trametes hirsuta (Hairy Bracket) on an old ash stump. Also on and around a mossy ash stump were swarms of the delicately shaped Coprinellus disseminatus (Fairy Inkcaps). With them were some uncommon, very small Psathyrella pygmaea. The two can grow together and look alike - I have looked for the Psathyrella for years without finding it; so I was well chuffed. It needed the microscope to be sure of it. There are 2 previous Notts records, the last by Mary Hawkins in 2002.

Yet another mossed ash stump gave us Crepidotus mollis (Peeling Oysterling), a fairly large member of this genus. It has a rather elastic cuticle which peels when gently pulled. Not uncommon but only 7 previous records for the county.

Old fallen ash branches frequently bear a greyish-purple crust with black outlines, Hypoxylon petriniae, and it was present today. Small black cushions on fallen oak were the common Diatrypella quercina (Oak Blackhead) and slightly larger cushions on birch were Annulohypoxylon multiforme (Birch Woodwart). On other fallen wood Stereum hirsutum (Hairy Curtain Crust) and Stereum tomentosum (Yellowing Curtain Crust) were found by Mary; while Nick collected the common irregularly poroid crust Schizopora paradoxa (Split Porecrust).

On the earlier visit I had found two rusts on leaves: Uromyces dactylidis on Lesser Celandine and Puccinia sessilis on Ramsons. A dead bramble stem on the same visit yielded 3 species, tiny black dots and discs much smaller than those of Diatrypella mentioned above: Anthostomella rubicola and Mollisia clavata seem to be county firsts, though the latter is not uncommon nationally. A dead attached twig of Dogwood revealed more tiny black mounds of Diplodia mamillana, another Notts first record and certainly seldom recorded.

Howard Williams

Schizopora paradoxa (Split Porecrust)
Photo: Richard Rogers
Schizopora paradoxa (Split Porecrust) Photo: Richard Rogers