Field Event Reports

18 October 2015 - Fungal Foray in Bagley Wood

Leader: John Killick, Abingdon Naturalists' Society

Birch Brackets on tree trunks

My recce had been promising despite the reported depletion of edible fungi by many foragers. Health and safety now prevents our parking in the sawmill but with valuable help from Eddie Smith there, we were able to park on the east side and walk half a mile to a favourite beech area.

Only 5 people from ANS came, an unusually small number, but we had some 15 plus myself from the Fungus Survey of Oxfordshire. Richard Fortey and Caroline Jackson-Houlston gave invaluable help with identifications. This enabled us to split up into small groups to explore the woods, each with its own expert. It was grey and cool but dry. The site provided a wide range of woodland habitats, comprising a mosaic of stands of native and introduced broadleaves and conifers, including oak, birch, sweet chestnut, beech, and larch. This gave a wide variation in understory from bare ground to bramble and stinging nettle cover, with plenty of fallen and rotting logs. We walked past many alien trees including much red oak (which seemingly supported no fungi), conifers and one umbrella pine.

With over 20 sharp-eyed people we were not short of fungi. We found some old friends such as three Amanitas, butter-cap, wood woolly-foot, plums and custard, sulphur-tuft, several Russula and candlesnuff. But we also had inedible webcaps, poisonpies and Inocybes, a tiny beefsteak fungus from the same tree as years ago; some others on the recce didn’t recur on the day. With our expert help we reached our second best Bagley score – 78.

John Killick

Many thanks to John Killick for arranging and leading this visit and to members of Fungus Survey whose presence considerably enhanced the visit.

Graham Bateman

Abingdon Naturalists' Attendees:
John Killick, Graham Bateman, Hugh Summers, Chris and Bridget Biggs, Michael Bloom

Species list

View the full species list from Fungus Survey Oxfordshire

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