So what was going on in the woods a few Sundays ago?
A group of about 20 of us were on a Fungi Foray in Yarner Wood with the Moor than meets the eye landscape partnership project.
We were ably led by David Farley, a local fungi specialist, and colleagues from Natural England and the Woodland Trust.
We had great fun finding different species and collecting them in our willow baskets. We really began to notice how many, and how different they were, once we ‘got our eye in’. We’d stop every few yards and David would let us handle and smell the samples. Smelling is very important for ID and we began to distinguish raw potato, radish, celery, and others from just a general ‘earthy’ smell.
There’s quite a bit of deception going on in the fungi world: there are true and false death caps, true and false chanterelles, and my particular favourite that one of the sharp-eyed boys in the group found: the amethyst deceiver.
As its name implies, a beautiful delicate mauve colour with a ruffled cap, apparently very common, though not one I have seen before.
David was good at telling us something interesting about our finds. Juicy tales about vomiting, liver and kidney failure, and death were included, but also that ninety something percent of fungi is quite harmless, if not necessarily tasty… It’s that worrying few percent though so you need to be absolutely sure. We did get clear instructions about washing our hands before tea and biscuit time back at the Woodland Centre where we had chance to take stock of all the finds!
Written by Daphne Pleace
Photos by Natalija Jovanovic