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Annual autumn fungi walk

Author:  Mike Higgins
Last Updated:  13/12/2021

Mike Higgins, Chair of Wales Branch

On 18 September, the Wales Branch of the Association held our third annual fungi walk at Clyne Gardens, Swansea.

Retained decaying wood.

Retained decaying wood

Steve Lucocq presenting a book to Teifion

Steve Lucocq presenting a book to Teifion

Ash dieback discussion.

Ash dieback discussion

It was our first branch-organised event since Covid restrictions were lifted, so it was fantastic to be holding events again, and this opportunity was also welcomed by attendees as the event was fully booked. As for previous fungi walks, branch secretary Steve Lucocq made the arrangements and Teifion Davies was our host at Clyne. This year we aimed to collaborate further, and Richard Wilson also attended as a representative of the Wales region of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Clyne Gardens is a botanical garden formed from the landscaped gardens created by Glynn Vivian of the Vivian family who purchased Clyne castle in 1860. The estate passed to his nephew Algernon ‘The Admiral’ in 1921, who owned it until his death in 1952, and he is considered to have had the greatest influence on the gardens as we see them today.

The woodland gardens are now owned by the City and County of Swansea, and Teifion has been working at the gardens since the 1980s. He is familiar with all of the 2500 trees and shrubs on the 19-hectare site, and knows where fungi can generally be found. The site is home to tree species from all around the world, and because of this it is also home to a variety of fungi. During the walk we were fortunate enough to see the 19 species of fungi pictured opposite, plus Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom).

Previous walks have focused predominantly on the inter-relationship between trees and fungi, but this year a number of mycologists also attended, so the day also included some grassland and parkland specimens.

Discussions turned to the retention of decaying wood on site for biodiversity, the fungi and invertebrates found on these retained features, and notably wood wasp borehole frass was also spotted. One of the more prominent fungi in the UK at the moment is ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus), and this was also discussed in detail in relation to management of ash within the site.

At the end of the day, Steve Lucocq presented Teifion Davies with one of the AA’s fungi books as a thank you for hosting our fungi walks. The event was a great success and will no doubt be held again. The branch would like to thank everyone involved who helped to make the day informative and enjoyable.

All photos by Mike Higgins.

To find out about more events in Wales follow the branch on social media via: Facebook: @AAWales; Instagram: @Arboriculturewales; Twitter: @ArboricultureW

Image Key

  1. Abortiporus biennis (blushing rosette)
  2. Scleroderma citrinum (common earthball) on birch
  3. Coprinopsis atramentaria (common inkcap) found within the wood mulch used on site
  4. Fistulina hepatica (beefsteak fungi)
  5. Grifola frondosa (hen of the woods)
  6. Coprinellus disseminatus (trooping crumble cap)
  7. Hygrocybe sp. (waxcap)
  8. Ganoderma sp.
  9. Sparassis crispa (cauliflower fungus)
  10. Meripilus giganteus (giant polypore)
  11. Trametes gibbosa (lumpy bracket fungus)
  12. Bjerkandera adusta (smoky bracket)
  13. Piptoporus betulinus (birch polypore), showing geotropism.
  14. Hypholoma fasciculare (sulphur tuft)
  15. Heterobasidion annosum – Commonly found at the base of conifers, but unusually this specimen was growing around the base of a hazel. It is thought that this specimen is actually growing from a conifer stump/root remnant below the surface.
  16. Clitocybe connata (white dome cap), ‘fairy ring’.
  17. Leccinum scabrum (brown birch bolete)
  18. Cyathus striatus (fluted bird’s nest) on small mossy stem.
  19. Armillaria mellea rhizomorphs (honey fungus)
Image 1: Abortiporus biennis
Image 2: Scleroderma citrinum
Image 3: Coprinopsis atramentaria
Image 4: Fistulina hepatica
Image 5: Grifola frondosa
Image 6: Coprinellus disseminatus
Image 7: Hygrocybe sp.
Image 8: Ganoderma sp.
Image 9: Sparassis crispa
Image 10: Meripilus giganteus
Image 11: Trametes gibbosa
Image 12: Bjerkandera adusta
Image 13: Piptoporus betulinus
Image 14: Hypholoma fasciculare
Image 15: Heterobasidion annosum
Image 16: Clitocybe connata
Image 17: Leccinum scabrum
Image 18: Cyathus striatus
Image 19: Armillaria mellea

This article was taken from Issue 195 Winter 2021 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.