2015   Regret most reports are still to be written up

19 September, visit to Common Wood  

As we discovered, Common Wood has three distinct areas: Gravelly Way Plantation, Farther Barn Field and Common Wood proper.

From the informal parking area in Gravelly Way we made our way through the first patch of woodland, which contained comparatively little of interest, but the path then opened up into:

An open field (Farther Barn Field) which sloped down to the south.  The woodland edge at the top of the field contained a mixture of hawthorn, blackthorn and rose, all with abundant fruit, plus bramble in front (where local people had obviously been blackberrying before us), attracting speckled wood, comma and a single hornet.  Small rose bushes were also dotted around the field, several hosting robin’s pincushions

Plants still in flower in the field included bird’s foot trefoil, buttercup, black medick, creeping thistle, field scabious, hawkbit, lady’s bedstraw, ragwort, red bartsia, red clover, wild marjoram and yarrow.  A small patch of yellow rattle was long over. 

A tree belt had been planted on the east side of this field, which was also punctuated by a hedge three-quarters of the way down.  Past this was a large patch of knapweed (all over) and some nipplewort.  Insects seen included several craneflies, a seven-spot ladybird, a hawker dragonfly (too fast to give positive identification) and (probably) a common carder bee.

As we went into Common Wood proper we heard two jays quarrelling noisily.  The only other birds we heard all day were buzzard, goldcrest, magpie, red kite and robin.

As we went deeper into the wood we noted more and more fungi.  Some we were unable to identify, but definite examples were amethyst deceiver, boletus, common puffball, fly agaric , magpie inkcap, shaggy inkcap and sulphur tuft. 

Trees were not systematically noted, but standing out were some rowan in full berry, a holly with glowing red berries, another with just green berries and a couple of small gorse plants. 

The southern section of the wood (along the Boundary Ride and Penn Bottom Path) seemed to be more open that the northern part, and in clearings were herb robert, lords and ladies, mallow, persicaria, red hempnettle, stinging nettle, wood avens, rosebay willowherb and broad-leaved willowherb.  There was comparatively little fungi in this area.  

In the absence of the usual reporter, Alan Power kindly noted sightings and wrote this report.


11 October, visit to Little Hampden

On 11 October three members met the fungi expert Tony Marshall at Little Hampden to go on a fungus foray.  He was accompanied by a family of four from the Prestwood Society, who had already been searching for about an hour when we met them at 11 o'clock.  It was a fine sunny morning and a surprising number of flowering plants remained, including bramble flowers (although most blackberries were over),bryony berries (no leaves left to determine whether white or black), chickory, cranesbill - cut-leaved and long-stalked - herb Robert, lesser stitchwort,  nipplewort, pimpernel, both scarlet and yellow,  red campion, selfheal, wood avens and woundwort.

Tony warned us that there were not that many fungi about, but in fact we did find many different species, including some rarities:  quite a lot of brittlegills - bare-toothed (known as "The Flirt”), blackening and ochre -  beechwood sickener, a couple of knights, burnt and blue-spot, quite a few bonnets: burgundy drop, clustered, lilac, rosy, saffron drop and yellowleg; also buttercap, candlesnuff, a couple of deceivers, amethyst and common, and several funnels - clouded, fools and trooping; fibre caps included frosty and splitting, and shanks both rooting and russet tough.  Other species found were green elf cup, hedgehog fungus, jelly ears, King Alfred's cakes, a parasol, a puffball, a rufous milkcap, a shaggy bracket, a shaggy parasol, wood wax, sulphur tuft, terracotta hedgehog, turkey tail, a webcap, a white saddle, wood blewit, wrinkled club, and yellowing curtain crust.

There were few birds about, although as usual we heard more than we saw, , even the buzzard was not spotted.  Others included a great spotted woodpecker and rooks, while the only butterflies we saw were a pair of speckled woods.  

It was a very good morning's walk, thanks to the expertise of Tony Marshall, and now here is his scientific list:

Prestwood Nature Fungus Foray, Little Hampden, 11 October 2015 

10am-11am only

Green elf-cup Chlorociboria aeruginascens

Grooved bonnet Mycena polygramma

Mycena clavularis (no English name)

Pestle puffball Handkea excipuliformis (this was the small one with a cup at the top where the fruit body had gone)

Shaggy parasol Macrolepiota rhacodes


10am-11am & 11am-1.30pm

Buttercap Collybia butyracea

Candle-snuff Xylaria hypoxylon

Clouded funnel Clitocybe nebularis

Common bonnet Mycena galericulata

Common parasol Macrolepiota procera

Jelly ear Auricularia auricula-judae

King Alfred's cakes/Cramp balls Daldinia concentrica

Lilac bonnet Mycena pura (Rosy Bonnet is now generally subsumed under this name)

Ochre brittlegill Russula ochroleuca

Saffron-drop bonnet Mycena crocata

Stump puffball Lycoperdon pyriforme

Sulphur-tuft Hypholoma fasciculare

Turkeytail Trametes versicolor

Wood blewit Lepista nuda


11am-1.30pm only

Amethyst deceiver Laccaria amethystina

Bare-toothed brittlegill Russula vesca

Beechleaf bonnet Mycena capillaris

Beechwood sickener Russula nobilis

Birch milkcap Lactarius tabidus

Bitter poisonpie Hebeloma sinapizans (see note after Poisonpie)

Blackening brittlegill Russula nigricans

Blotched woodwax Hygrophorus eburneus (very stick white one)

Blue-spot knight Tricholoma columbetta

Bulbous fibrecap Inocybe napipes

Burgundy-drop bonnet Mycena haematopus

Burnt knight Tricholoma ustale

Charcoal burner Russula cyanoxantha

Common puffball Lycoperdon perlatum

Cortinarius caninus (this was the one I did not have time to identify that was with the colony of blue-spot knight;             it is quite uncommon)

Clitocybe houghtonii (no English name)

Clustered bonnet Mycena inclinata

Conifer mazegill Gloeophyllum sepiarium (this was a bracket on a pine log that I wrongly called "hairy bracket" or             something like that at the time; it had long narrow pores)

Deceiver Laccaria laccata

Dripping bonnet Mycena rorida

Fleecy fibrecap Inocybe flocculosa

Fool's funnel Clitocybe rivulosa

Frosty fibrecap Inocybe maculata

Lactarius fluens (no English name - this was the milkcap with very hot milk)

Poisonpie Hebeloma crustuliniforme (this is the commoner of the two Hebeloma I took for later identification -             both are small pale brown and pretty anonymous)

Rooting shank Xerula radicata

Rufous milkcap Lactarius rufus

Russet toughshank Collybia dryophila

Shaggy bracket Inonotus hispidus

Split fibrecap Inocybe rimosa

Sulphur knight Tricholoma sulphureum

Terracotta hedgehog Hydnum rufescens

Trooping funnel Clitocybe geotropa

Variable oysterling Crepidotus cesatii/variabilis (small white bracket on twigs; cannot be certainly identified to             species in the field)

White saddle Helvella crispa

Wood woolly-foot Collybia peronata (I don't think I named this at the time)

Wrinkled club Clavulina rugosa (I think I mistakenly called this "grey club" at the time)

Yellowleg bonnet Mycena epitpterygia

Yellowing curtain crust Stereum subtomentosum