(Member of the Fungus Conservation Trust - Registered Charity No. 1118651)
Current news of interest to Fungal Friends.

7th November 2011 - END OF SEASON ROUND UP

It is that time of year again and we only just made it before the frosts came.

19 Fungal Forays were led by my Fungalised self with an average of 18.5 people per walk in attendance and with 59.5 species per walk identified. All lists are in the Fungal Friends section of the site. Sincere thanks to all those who came and supported the walks especially a faithful few who attended several forays and made for a grand day out - your company didn't go un-noticed or unappreciated - ta!

Highlights of the year in general are many with Geastrum striatum, the superb specimens of Lycoperdon utriforme, Volvariella pusilla, Hericeum cirrhatum at Etherow CP and catching up with more micro fungi such as Hymenoscyphus herbarum, Calyptella capula, Dasyscyphus sulphureus, Catinella olivacea as well as the rusts Puccinia chaerophylli, Trachyspora intrusa, Puccinia galii-verni and Phragmidium sanguisorbae, Puccinia arenariae and Puccinia magnusiana. In truth too many good species have been seen and I could go on all day about this, that and as you may guess, t'other!

Next year is already booked up and from here on I will be only doing 8 to 10 Fungal Forays a year so I can spend more time with the family and do a bit of mooching so as to improve my own knowledge and hopefully increase the quality of the days out. The first booking has already been made for 2013 so that only leaves 9 possible dates - miss out at your peril. If you do miss out though and have been a regular location you will get first choice at 2014.

Right lets keep it brief - that's it, keep mooching and most importantly get recording, get encouraging others and enjoy the free annual treasure hunts provided by Mother Nature - it's good for ya noggin tha' knows!


2nd November 2011 - Some piccies from this season

3 piccies of yours truly cosidering the fungal growths and at the bottom a picture of some fungi found at Marbury Country Park. Thank you to Sally Orrit and Judith respectively.


A tale or two to tell and this time with green wellies on

Oh sod it - if ya keep bringing me fungi I may as well sit down and wait

A few from a foray at Marbury - what a fascinating subject


4th October 2011 - A Tale from Coombes

The following tale was taken from the RSPB site regarding a walk there recently. It was penned by Fiona M:-

'Yesterday saw the return of the legend that is Fungalpunk Dave and his hard working wife. Dave is a master at fungal identification and a very entertaining tour guide to boot! The event was very well attended, thank you to everyone that came along, and hopefully you all enjoyed it as much as we did. 80 species of fungi were found in total, including the fire-milk (Lactarius pyrogalus) which only grows near Hazel, and it's milk has a spicy hot taste, as our willing volunteers found out. We were all advised not to eat any of the fungi as the colour variations and appearance at different stages can be very deceptive, making it hard to determine exactly what you are eating. Dave advised to buy your mushrooms from a shop and not risk it. The popular red and white Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) was also spotted. The amantia fungi grow in bags underground and burst out leaving the little white bits on the cap that you can see. Fly Agaric was traditionally used to kill flies, it was broken up with milk or sprinkled with sugar. It is still used for this purpose in parts of Europe today. Another easily identifiable one found on the day was the Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus), which as the name suggests can be smelt from some distance away. It's mysterious appearance led to it being thought of as witches eggs or devil's eggs in the past. Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) is a common one in woodlands and looks a bit like the shape of a turkey's tail! Many Birch Polypores (Piptoporus betulinus) were seen around the reserve, I think they resemble cappucino's with their white underneaths and cocoa sprinkled tops. They are also known as Razor Strop Fungus, as when dried they were traditionally used to sharpen razor's. The aptly named Dead Man's Fingers fungi (Xylaria polymorpha) was found on a log pile near the pond, the name is quite obvious when you see it as it looks like a black finger. Another unusual name was a type of slime mould (Myxomycota), called Dog's Vomit that was found on the grass near our willow weevil sculpture. Slime mould is not thought to be a fungus at all, but a protista and is said to take on an almost animal like form and move around! However, I think the best name of the day had to go to the unusually named puffball, the Wolf-Fart (Lycoperdon pyriforme). If you have ever accidentally trodden on a puffball you will understand where the name may have come from!

For the full species list found on the fungal hunt yesterday please got to Dave's excellent website: . I have included a few photos from the day beneath, but nothing quite captures the smells, sounds and textures as well as actually getting out on the reserve yourself and discovering nature first hand. It's not too late to get out and see these amazing organisms for yourself, as we found yesterday there is still plenty to see'.

For a few picccies click here to have a peek.


18th September 2011 - Cancellation

The walk this Saturday on the 24th of September has been cancelled. No communication doesn't help and the fact that I find out the event hasn't been publicised has forced me to make the decision that the whole thing would be a waste of time anyway. A shame and once more it seems as though cut-backs have been a deciding factor and staff have been moved around and the head doesn't know what it is doing from the arse. I have turned down a few bookings this year due to being booked up - bah! Apologies to anyone looking forward to this event - onwards we go!


14th September 2011 - New book

Thanks to Ivy Press for a free 'The Book of Fungi' and inclusion of one of my pictures. It is a lovely book compiled by Peter Roberts and Shelley Evans and is worth picking up. With 600 species from around the world it highlights the diversity out in the natural world and the many shapes and forms that please us fungal fanatics.


2nd September 2011 - Cancellation

The walk this Sunday on the 4th of September has been cancelled. Due to cut-backs and various other shufflings communication was lost and I only found out late on in the day that the walk is no longer going ahead. Apologies. As always its good to see the government cutting back in areas that matter instead of getting things right - scum of the earth hey!


3rd May 2011 - Fruiting early

Are fungi fruiting earlier and keeping in trend with other organisms in Britain that are reacting to global warming? Mark Huntley today sent me a picture of Stinkhorn eggs at Nunsmere Hall and it got me wondering what are the earliest fruiting dates for several species? If you spot anything that seems to be fruiting way out of season then let me know! Will these Stinkorn eggs produced the phallic symbol soon or will they hang on for a few more weeks yet - watch this space!


24th March 2011 - Feedback/Review

Found this on a review website regarding a foray at Rostherne House last year:-

'I live in North Manchester and was looking for a day out in Cheshire. I came across Rostherne House on the web and discovered that they organise a variety of activities of the 'soothing the soul' variety. My choice was a 'fungal foray' and turned up to find a group of like minded people, welcomed by Katie and led by 'Fungalpunk Dave' a real character with an in depth knowledge of mushrooms amongst other things.

So off we went and had found over 10 different varieties before we left the grounds of the hotel. We ended up in Tatton Park (just down the road). We ended up discovering over 50 different types of mushrooms and with eyes opened a bit more regarding the lovely Cheshire countryside.

We returned to a cup of tea and some cake and an hour or so of discussing our finds and eventually left with a 'well I really enjoyed that' kind of feeling and I understand Katie organises other events as well. So I will be looking to visit again. What a wonderful day'.


15th January 2011 - Bolton Field Naturalists Society

After doing a lecture for the fine folk of this struggling society the following feedback was given via their admirable newsletter.

'I have to admit that, knowing very little about fungi, I did wonder what I was letting myself in for on my way to October's meeting. I need not have worried; Dave Higginson-Tranter was such an enthusiast about his subject that you could not help but enjoy it. Did you know, for instance, that if there were no fungi a multiude of life could not exist? For below ground fungi feed off the dying and give to the living. The fungi we see above ground are just the fruit of these amazing structures.

For those of you with internet access I highly recommend his website - Click on wildlife (or punk rock if you prefer). Not only does he illustrate and explain fungi, he also looks at other topics such as butterflies, insects and wildflowers.

Dave put a lot of hard work into his lecture and I am sure that everyone who attended learnt a great deal. His illustrations were superb and after the lecture many people took advantage of seeing an array of specimens first hand. Well done, Dave'

Linda Almond

Thank you to Linda and everyone at Bolton Field Nat's for their kind support and hopefully will be back there soon with another lecture. It would be grand to see this group grow so if you are in the local area why not contact the ever enthusiastic Joan Wright on 01204 843 265 and join this brilliant society.