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WNF Fungi Explorer Walks - 09-12 Oct 2020

Russ writes:

Due to high demand, we hosted a total of 30 guests for six Fungi Explorer Walks over the weekend of 10-11 Oct and the days either side. The small group sizes (limited to five guests) ensured minimal impact on the environment, while the repeat visits allowed a good variety of fungi to be discovered and identified. In total, we found about 70 species of fungi that could be identified to species level with a reasonable level of confidence. Some of them have already been documented in a previous blog describing this route (see link below), but a few additional images of some of the more noteworthy or photogenic species are included below.

Devil's Fingers, with a New Forest pony in the background

Nail Fungus, an internationally rare species found on pony poo!

Fly Agaric - one of the more conventional fungi species encountered!

Several species of colourful brittlegills were seen, these were probably Purple Brittlegills

These colourful Green Elfcups were found emerging from a well-rotted Beech twig

This cup fungus (Peziza micropus?) was on a Beech trunk

A sharp-eyed guest found these Tiger's Eye fungi on today's walk

In addition to fungi, we encountered a good selection of other wildlife, from epiphytic Common Polypody ferns on ancient Oak trees dripping with lichens, to inquisitive Fallow Deer along woodland rides and even an adventurous Common Frog clambering amongst Bracken. Crossbills were seen and heard on every trip, occasionally giving nice views, and Raven, Buzzard, Snipe, Woodlark and Firecrest were also recorded. Kingfishers were heard at Holmhill Passage and on multiple dates from the ornamental pond across the road from the meeting place at Parc Pale car park. Wood Crickets remained active, and Common Darter dragonflies and Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies were all still on the wing. Interesting flora included Butcher's Broom and both Oblong-leaved and Round-leaved Sundews, while Heath Milkwort was still in flower in the open areas.

Polypody ferns on an ancient Oak tree

Many thanks to all our guests in recent days for making the walks so enjoyable. We have a couple more Fungi Explorer and Brockenhurst Discovery Walks scheduled later this week, and will soon be releasing our programme of scheduled walks for the rest of October.

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A wonderful morning of discovery in the scenic beauty of the New Forest. Our very knowledgeable guides identified approx. 70 different fungi species and we look forward to joining them on other guided tours. Thoroughly recommend these tours.

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