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23.10.14 Won't you take me to fungi town?

24 October 2014 | Posted in fungi , Wildlife

Today Sussex Wildlife Trust's Eastbourne Regional Group (http://www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/eastbourne) organised a guided walk in woodlands to the north of Lewes. The walk was led by fungi expert Martin Allison and followed on from an indoor talk by Martin in Eastbourne last week.

Not mushroom left: A big crowd gather at the start of the walk
Not mushroom left: A big crowd gather at the start of the walk.

The walk was very well attended and, before the group headed off the rather surly manager of the woodland had some warnings about picking his fungi. He told the group that the county is plagued with people who are 'pillaging, not forraging' the fungi from our woodlands. In some cases gangs armed with bin liners are trawling and clearing woodlands of fungi leaving nothing for others to look at and photograph. He then described in graphic detail what he would do to anyone he caught picking fungi in the wood. After a few more threats we were off.

The group searched the woodland and adjacent grassland and called Martin over to assist with identification.

Fun guy: Martin helps with identification
Fun guy: Martin helps with identification

This was the first time this woodland had been surveyed for fungi and soon we were adding plenty of strange names to our list; sticky scaly cap, glistening ink cap, club foot, hairy curtain crust, orange peel fungus....

Orange peel fungus
Orange peel fungus

Hairy curtain crust
Hairy curtain crust

...birch knight, saffron milkcap, split pore crust, turkey tail, deer shield, blackening brittlegill, fly agaric...

Classic: Fly Agaric
Classic: Fly Agaric

...smoky bracket, buttercap, plums and custard...

The dusky puffball was an interesting find although its other English name 'Smelly Wolf Fart' needed some explaining. Their old scientific name Lycoperdon foetidum translates as lyco ('wolf'), perdon ('to break wind'), foetidum ('smelly') - which, I would guess, refers to the cloud of brown spores that this fungi expels into the air.

Crack a window: Dusky puffballs
Crack a window: Dusky puffballs

Not too sure I agree with the person who named the spectacular rust gill though. I reckon they were a bit fast and loose with their use of the word 'spectacular'.

Unimpressed: Spectacular rust gill
Unimpressed: Spectacular rust gill

A big thank you to Martin for leading a very interesting walk and a thank you to the Eastbourne branch for arranging the event. If you live in the Eastbourne area the group organise a busy programme of outdoor and indoor events for all to enjoy. Full details are on their webpage http://www.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/eastbourne

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