On Sunday 16th October, the group returned once again to the beautiful Roundton Nature Reserve near Churchstoke. This time, we were on the hunt for fungi.
The remarkably dry year so far had meant some fungi species were quite late in their usual development, but recent rain meant we still had the prospect of finding plenty of examples.
The walk was led by Rob Rowe, who explained that there were often hundreds of different species of fungi, making precise identification extremely difficult, even for experts.
Field and parasol mushrooms were abundant on the open hillside, while under trees could be found entirely different species, often associated with just one particular species of tree.
The highlight among the finds was undoubtedly a wood blewit mushroom (surprisingly found on open ground – as the name suggests, they are typically woodland species). Its intense, mauve-blue colour brought plenty of “Ah!”s, “Ooh!”s and “Wow!”s from the group.
The spectacular wood blewit
A few brave souls also sampled the ‘milk’ from a beech milkcap (not recommended without an expert like Rob on hand!), which had a distinct peppery ‘kick’ to it.
All in all, a really enjoyable exploration of fungi on a (largely) sunny autumn morning.