Fungal Foray at Thornhill Carrs Reserve

Fungal Foray at Thornhill Carrs Reserve

A Fungal Foray event was held at our Thornhill Carrs reserve to celebrate UK Fungus Day, an annual festival of fungi coordinated by the British Mycological Society to inspire everyone about the Fungal Kingdom.

During autumn something truly magical happens, the parks, woodlands, grasslands and even roadside verges become alive with weird and wonderful fungi. For UK Fungus Day, a handful of our wonderful volunteers and staff gathered at Thornhill Carrs Reserve for a Fungal Foray and shared with us what they had discovered.

Thornhill Carrs is a 30-hectare area of former farmland and is one of our new sites that we have managed since 2020. The site is important for summer migrant birds such as blackcaps, chiffchaffs and even a willow warbler. It’s a steep-sided valley home to wild woodland, hawthorn scrub and wildflower meadows, which not only is a great habitat for a number of wildlife species but for fungi too.

Beverley Rhodes at Fungal Foray

(c) Rob Foster

The Fungal Foray session was led by Beverley Rhodes Ecologist BSc BMS FC who helped the team identify many species that they stumbled upon at the reserve. With many sets of eyes scouring the paths the team found their top find of the day, The Freckled Dapperling (Echinoderma aspera) which is a species of fungi that grows on plant debris during autumn. Another species found was The Miller (Clitopilus prunulus), a white coloured fungus that smells like flour! A common fungus found at the reserve was The Fairy Inkcap (Coprinellus disseminatus) that forms dense masses upon rotting tree stumps and roots.

Fairy inkcap (Coprinellus disseminatus)

The Fairy Inkcap (Coprinellus disseminatus)  ©Rob Foster

Despite the rain falling heavily, the Fungal Foray team continued on around the reserve in search of more species. Added to the list was Shaggy Bracket (Inonotus hispidus), Pleated Inkcap (Coprinus plicatilis), Collared Parachute (Marasmius rotula), Fleecy Fibrecap (Inocybe flocculosa) and many more. A big thank you to everyone who joined in on the event and gathered data that is valuable for Thornhill Carrs Reserve.

The Miller (Clitopilus prunulus)

The Miller (Clitopilus prunulus) ©Rob Foster

Fungi can be found throughout any time of the year, however, autumn is the perfect time to spot a varied amount of species. So why not get out and about this autumn to see what fungi you can find at your local parks and woodlands. Keep an eye out for the Fly agaric, the classic fairy-tale toadstool or if you’re after a challenge lookout for the Amethyst deceiver, a delicate purple toadstool preferring shaded woodlands.