The Durham Wildlife Trust Botany Group visit to Ragpath Wood on 13.10.19 by Lesley Hodgson
A few of us joined the North East Fungal Studies Group on 13th October, on their fungal foray into Ragpath Wood, near Esh Winning. The weather was a little damp and misty, but soon turned to rain then forgot to stop! However that is ideal conditions for fungi, and we set out with the hopes of some exciting finds, which soon proved to be the case, as I was able to see at least nine species which I hadn’t seen before, thanks to our expert leaders from the NEFSG.
The rain, and low light levels, made photography very tricky, especially as my flash doesn’t work, but I managed a few usable photos, with the occasional use of a small torch.
The most interesting one for me was Jelly Tongue, Pseudohydnum gelatinosum, which is one I have long wanted to see. The underside is covered in white spines, similar to a cat’s tongue. Another was Daldinia fissa, similar to King Alfred’s Cakes but smaller, and usually found on burnt gorse, as was the case today. One was cut in half in the field, and resembled half an onion.
Two beautiful lilac species were Lepista nuda, the Wood Blewit, and Laccaria amethystina, the Amethyst Deceiver. In contrast, the tiny yellow Clavulinopsis helvola, Yellow Club, was found in the grass on the outskirts of the wood. We nearly passed by these, being so small and well hidden.
Interestingly, a Stinkhorn “egg” was found and cut in half. The photo is not very sharp, but I have included it as not many will have seen one like this.
The dead tree shows Bjerkandera adusta, Smoky Bracket, which is one I see a lot, but had not identified until today, and I have also included a photo of Crepidotus species, simply because they are so pretty.
Finally I will mention, Green Elfcups, which for at least one of the party was a “first”. I wasn’t able to get a photo of this, so have included one I prepared earlier, as they used to say on Blue Peter.
Also huge thanks to the members of the NEFSG for allowing us to tag along with them, and for their infinite patience in answering our questions on the identities of various fungi. It was a great day despite the weather!
To find out more about the Durham Wildlife Trust Botany Group, click here