Fungi, Phragmites and Ferndene

Durham Wildlife Trust News, WildGround

Last week we were creating the right habitat for Dingy Skipper butterfly at Colliery Wood, South Tyneside. They need open spaces for basking and a plant called Bird’s-Foot Trefoil for their larvae. In order to maintain this important habitat, we spent the day cutting out alder saplings from a ditch running alongside a path. We also did some brushcutting in scallop shapes along the edges of the path. We hope the Dingy Skipper approves!


Another Tuesday, another day at Ferndene. This week we continued to open the dene with the help of Gateshead Council. Nothing goes to waste here, as we had a chipper on site and all brash, and woody scrub was chipped. It can be used to create a safer, more accessible footpath into the dene.

Monday saw a slight change for the team as work placements were postponed for the day to undertake wetland ecology training at Rainton Meadows. We spent the morning looking at the different features of wetlands. Did you know a pond can be between 1m squared and 2ha and that they have greater biodiversity of lakes and rivers?

We ventured to Low Barns this week for an unexpected day out with Patrick Harding. We had a fantastic day learning about fungi. We couldn’t believe that there are around 5000 species of fungi in the UK alone. Patrick’s infectious enthusiasm never fails to engage everyone as we ventured into the reserve and foraged for as many different species we could find.

by Rael & Tracy