We had a perfect morning for our fungi foray on 30 October at SWT Bawsinch wildlife reserve, noting 24 different species. We learnt that fungi are not a plant or an animal but have a kingdom of their own and we have over 9000 different species in the UK. They are a challenging part of the natural world to study but we made a good start by learning the difference between Funnel Caps (with their decurrent gills) and Toughshanks (never with decurrent gills). We learnt about stomach fungi which keep their spores inside a puffball, earthball or earthstar before splitting the top and “puffing” out and also found some bracket fungi including the Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) and the Artists Bracket (Ganoderma applanatum). Other highlights included the stunning purple edible Wood Blewit (Lepista nuda), a troop of huge Shaggy Parasol (Macrolepota rhacodes) and a disgusting smelling Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus). A fox kept us company as we forayed on the lawns and a stoat ran past as we closed the gate. A wonderful morning spent!
Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)