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Good news! A never before recorded fungus (for this area) has been spotted at Byron’s pool nature reserve. This wonderful fungus has a rounded head and a shaggy ochre-brown stalk. The fruiting body is produced between September and November but the stalk remains in place throughout the winter months which allows a longer period for possible identification. The head of the fungi is a mass of spores which have a warty appearance and are brown and spherical in shape. The species prefers dry and sandy banks or edges…

This stem gall was spotted at 9 Wells nature reserve this week. Home to the larvae of a small wasp this gall is known as Diastrophus rubi and is host specific to the Dewberry or Bramble but has been recorded on Raspberry canes. Galls are very interesting natural phenomenon as they form on plants in response to secreted hormones from mainly insects but they can also be triggered by bacteria and fungus. They are not a sign of disease but consist of healthy plant tissue which is full of nutrients for the growing larvae within. This tissue is…

This lovely fungus was spotted in Bramblefields Nature reserve today. Velvet Shank is a stump rotting fungus which can also be found on standing deadwood. This edible fungus is a foragers delight this time of year when the colder weather deters most other edible fungi from fruiting. Good examples can still be found well in to January. The latin Flammulina refers to the orange caps which shine like ‘little flames’ in the winter sunshine. The velutipes refers to the stems and is an even more fitting description meaning ‘with velvet legs’. This is exactly what…