Join us for a Fungal Foray across Portway Hill this coming Sunday (27th October), 10:30am -1:30pm. The recent wet weather has brought out lots of colourful fungi in the hills and local fungi expert Lukas Large will be helping us to identify them. Meet at the entrance to Bury Hill Park on the A4123 Wolverhampton Road (grid ref. SO 97834 89474). We advise all those attending to wear sturdy footwear and outdoor clothing appropriate for the weather. Participants will need to be moderately fit as the walk involves some steep hills.
We’ve had a few nice sightings recently while carrying out conservation work on the hills. All the recent rain has been great for fungi and we’ve spotted some colourful specimens – see photos below for tentative identifications (please let us know if any are incorrect!). The highlight though was around 6 Bank Voles that were found under a pile of cut grass on the Wildlife Trust’s reserve – before they scattered we managed to photograph one! The grassland and scrub here provides ideal habitat for them – although we’ve previously carried out mammal trapping on the hills to monitor which species are present, we hadn’t caught any Bank Voles, so it’s great to know that they are here.
Our volunteers day on Portway Hill on the 20th October was very productive. We cleared all of the grass and bramble debris piled up from the previous volunteers day and even managed to find a few new fungi for the Portway Hill site. The reason for removing all arisings from the site is to reduce soil fertility which should in time increase the diversity of the wild flowers and insects found here.
Here are some photos of before, during and after the volunteers’ hard work, as well as lots of lovely fungi!
As autumn approaches fungi and slime moulds are now appearing on the hillside. Look out for more as you walk across the hills this autumn and send us your photographs. Here are three that we’ve spotted so far:
Some more interesting fungi have been spotted on the Rowley Hills recently, and their appearance this late in the year is undoubtedly due to the unseasonably mild weather we’ve been having. These are Earth Tongues, which are important indicators of nutrient-poor grasslands of high value for nature. They normally appear during October and November, and from their appearance it’s obvious where their name comes from! There are several similar-looking species and the shape of this one suggests it is a Trichoglossum; it’s not possible to make a more accurate identification without a microscope.
There are some amazing fungi out on the Rowley Hills at the moment! These photos were taken by Mike Poulton last week. We’re not great on fungi identification so if you know what any of these are, please let us know. And if you’ve seen any interesting fungi, plants or other wildlife on the Rowley Hills recently, get in touch!