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

15th December 2015 - Warrington Guardian Article

This article appeared in the Warrington Guardian on 21st September 2015 prior to two walks at Arley Hall.

'Did you know that Arley Hall is home to more than 100 species of mushroom?

They may be one of the most unappreciated creations of the natural world but 'Fungalpunk' Dave Higginson-Tranter is doing all he can to change that.

Dave leads between 16 and 20 mushroom walks a year from September to November.

The 50-year-old's next walk is at Arley Hall on Sunday where he will be investigating the many varieties of wild fungi that sprout into life each year. So far he has listed 114 species on the estate's grounds.

He said: "I hope it shocks people into realising just what a bounty of beauty there is out there and how tragic it is to overlook such marvellous intricacy.

"After leading quite a few walks around the grounds I do know the lay of the land somewhat and try to expose some old favourites.

"The red and white spotted fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), earth potatoes (Scleroderma citrinum) and beefsteak fungus (Fistulina hepatica) are always popular but each species has its own delight.'


14th December 2015 - Another review

This one is composed by the kind Rebecca Blackman of the RSPB and concerns the trip to Consall Woods.

'The 8th of November saw the return of Fungal Punk Dave to help us out on our Fungal Foray. The walk took us through the Churnet reserve and up to Bellpit Meadows.  Thank you to everyone that came along, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!  With a total of 96 species there was plenty to discover throughout the walk. One of my favorites was blushing bracket, which we came across a few times as we walked up to Bellpit. 

Common earthballs were also spotted on several occasions, along with clouded agaric, jelly ear, olive oysterling, common bonnet, wood blewit and coral spot. 

Bellpit Meadows was a lovely spot to have a quick break and have a look at our new land which was purchased through Heritage Lottery Funding.  It was great to share with the Fungal Foray crowd how we are going to use this land as a buffer for the Churnet.

We did see a few signs of the popular fly agaric, unfortunately they weren’t looking their best as it is quite late in the year for them.  But it was great to know that they had been there and where might be good place to have a look next autumn.  Candle snuff was also a big favourite for our younger attendees as they looked just like some little fairies had put their candles out the night before.  Perhaps we should keep an eye out for candle snuff in the Fairy Village at Coombes Valley.  Just as an added bonus, someone also spotted a wingless female winter moth!

We still have a few samples of what we found on the day in the visitor centre which will be there for the next few days.'

Cheers Rebecca and see ya next year.


12th November 2015 - Big up for our latest recorder

The Fungal Friends Group was given a boost this week as group and FCT member Ian Staniforth began his quest of recording all his finds. The first 50 records have gone in courtesy of Ian and heres to many, many more. I think that kind thanks and applause are in need for a worthy effort that will no doubt help the mycological world. Good man!

11th November 2015 - A fine article

A nice article was composed by Clare and Ian from Erddig Country Park regarding a recent foray there, very kinmd indeed.

'With a group of 27 visitors keen to set out on the trail for fungi we started our challenge to find 50 species. Last year we found 84 different species but with such a dry summer our target could still prove a challenge. However at the end of the day the species list totalled 103 different species of fungi and we didn’t even cover half of our 1200 acre estate!

Ian Staniforth, Volunteer with our Countryside team & Engagement outdoor activities joined us for the day and as a keen ecologist I asked him to give us a volunteer viewpoint of Fungal Foray 2015:

"It's autumn again and October the 25th saw the return of "FungalPunk Dave", recorder for the Cheshire and Clwyd Fungal Group, to lead a fungal foray in the grounds at Erddig.

Last year we recorded 84 different species, and another full house promised a lot of eager eyes to see if we could improve on the total. A dry summer and early autumn didn't bode well, so we weren't expecting too much. However, it took us well over half an hour just to get through the orchard, and we were soon up and running with several finds, including the delightful Hare'sfoot Inkcap (Coprinopsis lagopus). On down the lane below the West front, past a large clump of Dark Honey Fungus (Armillaria ostoye) and we were soon in the meadow amongst the Waxcaps.

Last year was rather special and we weren't disappointed this year either, with Scarlet, Golden, Snowy and Parrot Waxcaps in abundance. We were also treated to some (rather large) Funnels (Clitocybe infundibuliformis) and the amusing Jelly Baby fungi (Leotia lubrica). Onwards over the bridge, where a spot of lunch was taken, and on to Coed-y-Glyn wood which always seems to give a good show just by the Erddig Road end of Wat's Dyke. Many old favourites, plus some more unusual finds, including Matt Bolete (Boletus pruinatus) and Blackfoot Polypore (Polyporus leptocephalus). On to Felin Puleston, and a fair few species were recorded in the beech woods nearby - including several Russulas (known as Brittlegills because they have very brittle, crumbly flesh and gills). A return through Big Wood to the house yielded a few more finds. We ended the day with 103 different species recorded - more than last year and not a bad total given the recent weather.

If you're interested in finding out more about the fungal world, search for 'fungalpunk' on the Internet and go to the 'natural zone' (unless you're a fan of punk music, in which case try the 'noisy zone'). It's free to join the group and you can go out on well-organised and entertaining forays and learn loads more about these unusual but essential members of the natural world.'


21st October 2015 - A kind gesture

I did a walk at Formby National Trust on the 18th of October and in attendance was a fine gent who wanted to take a few photo's for the National Trust. We went with the flow and let the dude take his pics but little did we know that he would kindly send through some printed copies and a whole disc full of wonderful snaps. Chris Vere is the man and sincere thanks go to him for his efforts, support and helping to promote the cause.

Here is a piccie of yours truly harking on about Oak Mildew (Microsphaera alphitoides).

More pictures can be found of the Fungal Friends Facebook page.


9th October 2015 - Surprise, Surprise

Whilst leading a walk at Delamere Forest a couple asked me to identify a fungus they had taken a picture of in their garden. It was Clathrus archeri and was a species me and my good lady had never seen. A visit was arranged and we went and had a look at the species in egg stage and in full fruit. I thought it would be good to monitor one of the eggs and see how things unfold - below is what I came up with in four days.

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Four

Day Four


10th September 2015 - Area Totals

Having just been on the CATE Database and viewed the records input by myself for the Fungal Friends Group I thought it worth indicating which places, over the years, have borne most fruiting species.

The Top Ten here is by no means specifically representative of the most prolific areas as it is a mere snapshot of what has been found on primarily annual visits which, as you may understand, depends on many factors (visit frequency, weather, number of eyes searching, quality of recorders, environmental changes, areas accessed etc). It does perhaps though give indication of the reward for the hard work put in with the only caveat being that we shouldn't expect too much from the most popular areas when visiting in the future.

Tatton Park - 309 species

Etherow CP - 284 species

Moore NR - 266 species

Mere Sands Wood - 211 species

Delamere Forest - 208 species

Coombes Valley RSPB - 179 species

Marbury/Anderton - 175 species

Abney Hall - 166 species

Chadkirk Chapel - 148 species

Erddig CP - 129 species


28th August 2015 - First updates of the year

After a photo-shoot for a local newspaper to promote a forthcoming fungall event and a mooch at some speciens found it seems to be that the season is now very much upon us. The slow trickle has started and recent walks, although not booming with species, suggest that the fruit are slowly beginning to appear. As I write the Fungal Friends recorded records on the FCT database (CATE) top 10,800 which is a good foundation for us all to crack on and do a little more. Get ready, report your finds and let us help our precious mycota.

There is now a Facebook Fungal Friends page for all members to join, share the finds and post the odd photo or two - this can be found here - - I do hope you make use of this resource and thank you to group member Nick Carey for the set up - good job indeed.