We are now trying to begin the process of building a species list for the Country park.
The recent rain has started to bring a few more fruiting bodies above the surface in the Country park. Though, overall, it still seems a poor site I have been watching a small area of acid grassland quite avidly.The grass is short in places due to Rabbit grazing.
It is this sort of habitat that can produce some interesting species. The Waxcaps particularly are worth looking out for These often colourful fungi are recognised as excellent indicators of unimproved grassland and areas of nutrient poor sward can be rewarding. English nature in fact produce an interesting table that can be used as a rough guide in assessing a piece of grassland using some key fungal genera. Waxcaps (Hygrocybe) feature highly here. A site with a large number of species will be considered as being of national or even international importance.
On our little patch though, only three species have so far shown, though I am ever hopeful. Of course acid grassland is of considerable importance as a habitat anyway, with or without Waxcaps.
Hygrocybe coccinea (Scarlet hood), Hygrocybe pratensis (Meadow waxcap) and Hygrocybe cinerea, a small attractive yellow species are the three I have so far recorded.
In addition to these a delightful species that has the common name of Golden spindle (Clavulinopsis fusiformis) has come up in abundance.This produces delightful yellow spindles in clusters and it’s recognised habitat is short grass on heaths.
Reported by: Steve Prosser