Foray Reports 2019

Thoresby Estate (Courtyard area) 9-11-2019

When the Group visited this site in August last year in a period of dry weather, very few fungi were recorded. This year, in November, after rain and warm weather in previous months, we recorded 72 species, covering an impressive range of species, shapes and colours.

The morning was very cold but dry. 14 members and guests took part in this successful foray in woodland and on grassy parkland.

Early in the foray a large logpile drew attention and 6 species were recorded on it by various members: Pleurotus dryinus (Veiled Oyster); really strikingly golden clusters of Pholiota aurivella (Golden Scalycap); Peziza micropus; Chondrostereum purpureum (Silverleaf Fungus); the crust Cylindrobasidium laeve; and that old stalwart Stereum hirsutum (Hairy Curtain Crust.

The woodland areas proved rich in fungi, both in species and their profusion. Adam Nicholson found a bright brown tuft of Cortinarius umbrinolens, its identity revealed largely by a strong earthy-mouldy smell (though I noticed that only on opening its closed container later); he also found the only earthstar that morning, Geastrum triplex (Collared Earthstar). Graham Piearce found Hypoxylon cohaerens on beech bark on the ground. This resembles the true Beech Woodwart (Hypoxylon fragiforme) but is smaller, slightly darkerand less common. Graham also found, under yew in soil, Chlorophyllum brunneum. Some years ago this would have been recorded as the common Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes), but now it has been deemed a separate species. Its main field character is its large marginate bulb at the base of the stem. Inga Firmer did actually find its common cousin Chlorophyllum rhacodes here also.

9 Mycena species were recorded, mostly in the woods, including the white form of the Lilac Bonnet by Tony Sprately (Mycena pura var. alba). We found 5 Lactarius species, the most interesting being the bright orange Lactarius fulvissimus (Tawny Milkcap – Tony Sprately) its milk yellowing on a handkerchief, an d the slimy grey Lactarius vietus (Grey Milkcap) – Howard Williams), both under br-leaf trees.

On the grassland towards the end of the foray 4 species were worthy of note: the bright yellow, very viscid Hygrocybe glutinipes (Glutinous Waxcap - Cathy Bundy); yellow Cystoderma amianthinum (Earthy Powdercap – Ann Ward); Macrolepiota procera (Parasol - Tony Sprately); Mycena flavoalba (Ivory Bonnet – Mike Clark).

The rarest species of the foray, found by Peter Williams, was Hebeloma populinum growing as a single under birch (its usual host). It looks much like many another small to medium Hebeloma but is a Red Data List species and has only 8 records on CATE2. This one is actually a 2nd Notts record, as I had found one back in 2010 at Gamston Wood.

Howard Williams

Hebeloma populinum
Photo: Howard Williams
Hebeloma populinum Photo: Howard Williams

Peafield Wood Mansfield 3-11-2019

15 of us gathered at the carpark of Redbrick House Hotel on another fine morning, from where we walked along the road to the wood entrance. We have visited this site a few times now and it has never disappointed; and by the end of the morning we had recorded 60 species. 3 species were noted on the grass verge before we actually got into the wood: the poisonous Clitocybe rivulosa  (Ivory Funnel)(Mary Hawkins); Helvella crispa (White Saddle)(Dorothy Burton); And Psathyrella corrugis (Red-edge Brittlestem)(Ann Ward), the latter one of the Psathyrellas with red-edged gills.

The dominant trees in our patch of the wood this morning were beech and pines with a good intermix of oaks and birches. Here we found a whole range of fungi: from the usual cap-and-stem types to brackets, clubs, corals and a variety of dots and discs on fallen wood or beechmast. Of ascomycetes growing on wood or husks, the bright yellow Bisporella sulfurina (John Brown) had to be taken back to separate it from Bisporella citrina, also yellow; Hymenoscyphus fructigenus (Nut Disco)(Ann Ward) was found on a fallen beech husk; while David Burton produced a dead oak branch covered with Hypoxylon howeanum, orange-brown and similar to Hypoxylon fragiforme which grows only on beech. Oddly enough, despite all the fallen beech wood, we did not record any of the latter. Russulas also were in short supply, just two species compared to five at Deerdale earlier in the week. And no Lactarius either.

A notable find by Maureen Featherstone was the whitish, spongy, watery bracket with a hairy or spiny surface on fallen wood (probably beech) – Spongipellis spumeus. This was a 1st Notts record and certainly new to me. It dries greyish and very hard. Not to be outdone, Bernard Featherstone later came along with a tuft of 3 pale brown fungi in beech litter which puzzled us at the time. We speculated it was some kind of Gymnopus and so it proved to be: Gymnopus fagiphilus, a 1st Notts record and a rare Red Data List species into the bargain; ‘fagiphilus’ meaning ‘beech-loving’, so definitely in the right place.

Four out of the five common Stereums were recorded, Stereum rameale (Tony Sprately) being a smaller more delicate member with white fringing hairs at the margin. It favours oak upon which it was found this morning. A pale yellow jelly fungus on oak (Mavis Broomhall) caused some discussion as to whether it was Tremella mesenterica (Yellow Brain), usually a deeper orange-yellow. In the old days the pale yellow jelly was called Tremella lutescens, but this name is no longer recognized, so T. mesenterica it is. Baeospora myosura (Conifer Conecap – Ann) was good to see standing nicely on a fallen pine cone. Finally an old favourite, Laccaria amethystina (Amethyst Deceiver) was plentiful beneath both oak and beech in various shades of blue-purple.

Howard Williams


Bisporella sulfurina 
Photo: Howard Williams
Bisporella sulfurina Photo: Howard Williams

Deer Dale/Browns Covert, Sherwood Pines 30-10-2019

With autumn being such a wet season this year – we were delighted to be foraying in the sunshine on Wednesday 30th October. 

Clipstone Forest is a ‘well used’ forest and because of all the cyclists and dog walkers at the weekends the committee decided a mid-week foray might be best.

The species collection started before we had stepped into the beech woodland and we were soon stepping on clusters of Hare’s ears and Fly agaric. Buttercap seems to be having a bumper year this year as do the Amethyst deceivers.

My first draft species list exceeded 50 and Howard is bound to add more species to the list before Di gets it.

It was also a bumper day for members and helpers as we were 24 in number and being half term the younger generation found lots with their sharp eyes and enthusiasm.

The Suede bolete handed to me by Henry Bealby actually was a Matt bolete (Xerocomellus pruinatus) – sorry Henry, I misled you.

Craig and Mike found the Slender and Pipe clubs, which I am sure we overlook too often as they are as dull brown as the fallen leaves they inhabit.

Tricholoma sulphureum – Sulphur Knight, was carpeting the areas under beech trees and its smell (of sulphur) was quite repugnant.

Only one Cep was found and this is probably due to the easy access to the location for foragers (as opposed to forayer).

The general feeling was that we must go there again and then Di, (currently with a plastered ankle) can help with the cornucopia of species – we missed you Di – get well soon.

Ann Ward.

Amethyst deceivers (Laccaria amethystine) 
Photo: Cathy Bundy
Amethyst deceivers (Laccaria amethystine) Photo: Cathy Bundy

Portland Park Fungi Foray 20-10-2019

It was a dry but cold morning when 13 of us met in the car park, unfortunately I found out later that some people were waiting at the Fat Rabbit Café and left before we got there so apologies to those people. Known locally as the Quarries this is one of my personal favourite sites, this may be owing to the delicious breakfast at the café and locality, but I would recommend. Especially on a frosty morning!

This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it is located on magnesium limestone (rare in Nottinghamshire) and due to this it supports some unusual species of plant, including the marsh fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia densiflora). 

The foray produced 40 identifiable fungi and some anonymities that had to be discarded (no Di or Howard on hand!). Those identified included the Fragnant funnel (Clitacybe fragrans) found by Dorothy amongst moss, Jean found Brown rollrim (Paxillus involutus) under Birch. Charlie uncovered a first for me, Girdled Knight (Tricholoma cingulatum) under hawthorn, Tony discovered the Collared earthstar (Geastrum triplex) which is always nice to see. The meadow uncovered some delights with Craig finding both Pipe club (Macrotyphula fistulosa) and Slender pipe club (Macrotyphula juncea) which are easily overlooked and surprised some attendees that they were indeed fungus. Some of the diminutive fungi found (normally by Ann) included the gorgeous Nut disco (Hymenoscyphus fructigenus), Eyelash fungus (Scutellinia scutellate) and the Purple Jellydisc (Ascocoryne sarcoides) all found by Craig. Ed and Tiff competed to find fungus with Ed retrieving 5 species including Stagshorn (Calocera viscosa), and Tiff only uncovering Pestle puffball (Lycoperdon excipuliforme) unlucky Tiff keep looking! 16 species of lichen were also identified by Craig, these included Lecidella stigmatea, Leicidella elaeochroma and Physconia grisea.

I must thank other members for their support, and knowledge on the day, in particular Craig.

Nick Clayton

Pipe club (Macrotyphula fistulosa)
Photo: Jean Powley
Pipe club (Macrotyphula fistulosa) Photo: Jean Powley

Daneshill Lakes Foray 12-10-2019

23 visitors and members assembled in the car park on a sunny morning together with Ros Swarz and 10 children from Wildlife Watch. That must be a record attendance for us. With all the energy of childhood, the kids were off the mark before us, and so were already at the wood entrance waiting for us with their finds. With all these eyes we recorded 69 species in about 2 hours, including two RDL species and one 1st Notts record.

The two RDL fungi were Lepiota tomentella found in the wood by one of the children and also by Trudy Panting, a visitor; and Russula insignis by me on the grass area by the lake with birch and willow. Neither is a 1st Notts record but both are uncommon. The 1st Notts record was Ossicaulis lignatilis, related to the Clitocybes but growing on wood. Other species scarce in the county were Inocybe cincinnata var. major; Lachnum sulphureum (John Brown), a tiny greyish disc with yellow fringe, on a dead stem; and Tricholoma stiparophyllum (Chemical Knight) collected by Craig Levy, first found at Stapleford Woods two weeks earlier by Mike Clark. It gets its name from the smell it often emits, though these at Daneshill had an unpleasant earthy smell.

The grassy area by the lake, mentioned above, proved very productive. Here, as on previous occasions, were recorded a number of Cortinarius species: 

C. trivialis (Girdled Webcap) found by Vicky Bell was viscid, bright orange and distinctive, Daneshill being, as far as I know, its only Notts site; 

C. subbalaustinus, bright orange-brown, was scattered in clusters, with the rather duller C. saturninus (Jean Powley). These large species all enjoy moist conditions with willow and birch. In the wood itself somewhat smaller Cortinarius enjoy the same requirements: the pretty dark brown C. decipiens (Sepia Webcap) (Graham Panting); C. anomalus (Tony Sprately); C. hemitrichus (Frosted Webcap) under birch (Jean Powley). It is an often striking genus but hard to sort out, often impossible.

Two earthstars were collected in the wood: Geastrum triplex (Collared Earthstar) by John Brown, and Geastrum fimbriatum (Sessile Earthstar) by Jean Powley, two of the commoner species in this group of fungi. Three other Tricholomas were also recorded: by the lake Tricholoma scalpturatum (Yellowing Knight) (Mike Clark); in the wood red-brown Tricholoma fulvum (Birch Knight) (Tony Sprately) and Tricholoma sulphureum (Sulphur Knight)(Tony Sprately), yellow and smelling strongly of coal gas. Several people noted the presence in the wood of Pholiota alnicola (Alder Scalycap) massed on and around an old mossed log. They made a photogenic sight, colour ranging from pale to bright yellow to orange in older groups.

That tiny curiosity, Collybia cirrhata (Piggyback Shanklet) clustered on a decaying fungus was found in different spots by Craig Levy and by Bernard Featherstone. Finally Naucoria subconspersa in a large trooping group was recorded by me beside the lake under alder, its host tree.

Howard Williams

Lepiota tomentella with br-leaf trees 
Photo: Howard Williams
Lepiota tomentella with br-leaf trees Photo: Howard Williams

UK Fungus Day 6-10-2019 Sherwood Forest NNR

It was with trepidation that I loaded the car on the Saturday because the weather forecast for the Sunday was horrendous and I envisaged a lot of very wet forayers!  Sunday morning was very damp but it wasn’t raining when I left home so I was hopeful of a reasonable day.  On arrival there was no sign of our usual marquee in the arena so I made enquiries in the shop.  I was told that, because of the very unfavourable weather forecast, they had decided to clear us a space inside the entrance hall.  What welcome news!  We didn’t have the space to spread out but at least we were inside in the dry.  The display was put up by the usual band of willing volunteers and we were ready by 10.30pm.  We had a steady stream of visitors to the display as they had to pass us to get to the coffee shop!  We did two forays one at 11.00am and another at 2.00pm.  We had about 20 visitors on each one.  In the morning, it was very wet underfoot but it wasn’t raining!  There were a lot of small fungi on the mounds along the path to the wood but we didn’t have time to spend on identifying them all.  However, we did record Clustered Brittlestem(Psathrylla multipedata) and Sticky Scalycap (Pholiotagummosa) in this area.  One of our first finds in the woodland was the Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) which always arouses interest.  There was a very good specimen of the Hoof Fungus (Fomes fomentarius) on a Birch tree and Jelly Ear (Auriuclaria auricula-judae) on an adjacent Elder tree. Usually we find plenty of Milkcaps, Brittlegills and Boletes but on this occasion  they were few and far between.  We did record the Matt Bolete (Boletus pruinatus), which is very like the red-cracked bolete without the cracks, the Oak Milkcap(Lactarius quietus) with its distinctive smell and the Ochre Brittlegill (Russula ochroleuca).  An interesting find was the Blushing Wood Mushroom (Agaricus silvaticus) near some conifers, this species discolours red when it’s cut.  At one point on the right of the path there were lots of groups of Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasiculare), some were growing from stumps but others were emerging from the ground,presumably on buried roots.  We also found some handsome specimens of the Clouded Agaric (Clitocybe nebularis) which is recommended as edible in some books but needs to be treated with caution as it contains a toxin that can accumulate in the liver.  We didn’t manage to get very far into the wood but we did see enough to interest our visitors.  In all we recorded 34 different fungi.  The display table back at the visitors centre was popular and we did try to encourage parents and children with different activities.  The morning walk, despite wet undergrowth and drips from trees, was dry and pleasant.  They weren’t so lucky in the afternoon but it only rained towards the end of the foray.  This was another successful event thanks to the hospitality of the RSPB, freebies from the BMS, support from the FCT and the enthusiasm of our members who are very good at engaging visitors and passing on their knowledge so it can be understood.  Without a willing band of volunteers it would be impossible of hold this event and I am very grateful to them as it’s important to promote fungi to a wider audience as they are such an important part of our natural world.  Thanks very much to you all!

Di Mears

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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