It has been rather quiet on the blog front this past week, because I have been spending much of my time out-and-about. I was down in the New Forest this Sunday just gone, at Hatfield Forest the weekend before, and have also attended a conference or two – all in addition to my day job! Thus, much of my spare time has been spent deep in books, and notably fungi ones. After all, it’s the season to see them at their best, with many fungal species kicking into life, and because many associate with trees it’s important to know what you’re looking at – at least, to the genus level.
I could spend forever-and-a-day posting what I have found over the past few weeks, and thus to whittle it down to just a few to share here is darned difficult. Thus, the ones below are the more interesting ones that may not be seen every day, or fungi that are common but in this instance adopting an interesting form or state of decay.
Back during August, I and two other very boring people went on a little foray around Windsor Great Park, to look at the trees. At the height of summer, it really was polypore season, and we weren’t let down on that front – plenty of Fistulina hepatica emerging from the magnificent oaks, as well as Laetiporus sulphureus in quite awesome abundance.
We were, nonetheless, aware of a much rarer UK fungus: the oak polypore (Buglossoporus quercinus). Quite frankly, it’s very rare, and the biology of it little understood (sounds a bit like most fungi!). However, for those that are interested, there are some quite fantastic publications that one can delve into, and they are:
Also check out this site for information. This page is managed by Kew Gardens.
Unfortunately, other articles are behind paywalls, and unless you are a member of the British Mycological Society then other articles won’t be available, though the other main one is again by Crockatt and, thus, likely contains simialr information to the thesis.
Anyway, as we were exploring Bears Rails (adjacent – and linked to – Windsor), we first came across – from a distance – what looked like young Laetiporus sulphureus. Therefore, we waltzed over, without a great deal of excitement, though that soon changed when we realised what we had found – oak polypore! Cue eager discussion and around ten minutes of taking photos, before walking on and discussing the find some more.
Later on, we were blessed with finding yet another example. Again, just outside of the actual Great Park, and even more hidden away. We only came across it as we were a little wary of whether we were trundling down a private road, and when we idled back it caught our eye. Again, cue lots of photo-taking!
Certainly, for those that like hunting for fungi, finding this fungus is a real treat. Of course, you cannot take it, or damage its habitat, as it’s protected by UK statute law (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981). Its host trees, very old oaks (veteran, moribund, or dead snags and stumps), are a declining population, and the Natural England report does a great job as detailing this issue further.