On October 22nd, I was delighted to be able to co-lead, with Jane Ostler, an annual fungus foray into Twyford Wood, near Colsterworth in southern Lincolnshire (just off the A1). This a multi-habitat wood based on what used to be an RAF airfield.
The foray, organised by Marianne Overton (a fellow Member of the Royal Society of Biology, MRSB), was attended by about twenty people – including several children with their parents, this being a joint event between the RSB and the local Wildlife Watch/RSPB Explorers.
Compared to previous years, the fungi in evidence were very few and far between (we found only 26 species, versus 92 for last year!), but nonetheless exciting. There were two species new to our forays: an Earth Star, Geastrum triplex; and the Tripe Fungus, Auricularia mesenterica. Although found previously. Gymnopilus junonius, the Laughing Cap, was found in beautiful profusion. Only one Mycena, M.pura, the Lilac Bonnet was found.
Several groups which are normally present were not found this year, including the Wax Caps, Hygrocybe, spp. (always on the peripheral, grassed areas); the Ink Caps, Coprinus, spp.; the Death Caps, Amanita, spp.; and the Russulaceae and Tricholomataceae.
This sudden low species-variation in Twyford Wood might be a reflection of a wider drop in species numbers in other groups and habitats around the UK (and elsewhere). Global warming and/or the recently reported increased CO2 levels, might be contributory factors. We will have to wait until next year’s foray to see if the numbers recover at all.