The start of Autumn found us enjoying a wonderful stroll through the woods, learning about fungi with Chris Jones. We are so lucky to have Chris share his knowledge and passion with us, and help protect our woodland. Some fungi only exist in ancient, undisturbed woodland which Chris was able to show us. Most of us would walk by and not notice the unassuming little growth of Clavaria fragilis, commonly known as ‘fairy fingers’ due to its delicate, pale appearance. We saw a fallen beech covered in Oudemansiella mucida, Porcelain fungus, which loves rotting wood, helping it to break down, and visited an area where other rare species which only grow on ‘standing deadwood’ beech can be found. Clyne Valley is blessed with a diverse range of habitat, hence an extraordinary range of fungi.
Chris has eagle eyes when it comes to fungi. A couple of years ago he spotted the well disguised Hydnellum spongiosipes (Velvet tooth) – with only 8 records in Wales at the time. This information influenced the location and substrate of the Shared Use Path in order to protect this red listed specimen.
A final treat was seeing the collection of waxcaps on the grass verge opposite Sketty Gates, and sharing Toadstool cakes to celebrate UK Fungus Day. Big thanks to Chris and his son, who is growing up in his father’s footsteps as a great fungus spotter.
Interested in fungi? Learn more here https://www.ukfungusday.co.uk/