A Few Find Fungi at Eastwood - Wildlife.y2u.co.uk

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A Few Find Fungi at Eastwood

Marion's Wildlife Notes
Whilst preparations geared up for an early FA cup round at the nearby football ground, our little group descended into the delightful steep sided Eastwood clough. One of the first acquired by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in 1930, this nature reserve at Stalybridge, Greater Manchester is now managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. With its naturally wooded slopes, a few planted trees from its former garden role and its stream, we hoped the reserve would yield up some treasures, certainly in the fungal line.
It did not disappoint – especially the fungi on the sawn trunks, branches and stumps of mature trees felled long ago. One fallen giant was an elm that succumbed to Dutch elm disease that swept through the country back in the 1970s and 80s. It's ironic that a tree felled by a fungal disease years ago now provides habitat for yet more fungi.

Leaning heavily on one group member's knowledge, fine examples of several bracket fungi were identified including Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) and Smoky Bracket (Bjerkandera adusta) that both grew on fallen broadleaf wood, and formed overlapping, semi circular caps and in some cases complete rosettes. The Turkeytail had thin concentric zones of colours ranging from pale biege through to black, and Smoky Bracket wider concentric zones of ochre to greyish brown. Alder Bracket (Inonotus radiatus) which also forms semi circular caps was also found.
Amongst the toadstool type fungi we discovered were Glistening Inkcap (Coprinellus micaceus) that grew amongst moss on a decaying tree stump and Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina) that preferred the side of the stream. Also near the stream was a splendid specimen of Hymenochaete tabacina – one of the crust type fungi that we found growing horizontally along a fallen willow.

Fungi are notoriously difficult to identify. With their often subtle shades, changes of shape, size and sometimes colour as they grow, and often their lack of a common English name, that it was pleasing to be able to identify several and we emerged into the gathering crowd of football fans a happy bunch.

November 2014
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