Archive for the ‘Fungi’ Category

You may have read the blog post earlier about the fungi walk. We have now finished editing a short video taken during it – enjoy!

Read Full Post »

A group of students from Brislington Enterprise College have just returned from a fabulous fungi walk with fungi expert John Bailey and have discovered many interesting species and fun facts along the way.

Their first discovery was a King Alfred’s cake fungus, which had been slightly demolished by hungry insects. A long time ago this species, formerly known as ‘cramp balls’, were believed to prevent muscle cramps.

King Alfred's cake fungus

After a rather tiring ascent there were plenty more fantastic finds.


The group of students were then taught about the negative effects of some fungi on plant health, after discovering a parasitised leaf and taking a closer look.

Plant diseased by fungus

Amongst some dense vegetation John managed to spot some artists bracket fungus. If a name is carved into this fungus it will remain throughout its growth.

Pore inspection

It seemed like scrambled egg to most, but John quickly advised us that this was yet another fungus to add to our species count.

Hannah Mulvany, ARKive Species Text Author Intern

Read Full Post »

Lauren and I have just returned from a fungal forage in the forest with John Bailey and his team of intrepid fungi experts. It’s not been the best weather for fungi recently due to poor rainfall, but we remained optimistic of some good finds.

John Bailey

John examining some rotten wood

The first notable find of the day was a tiny fungus called Mycena stylobates. Although not rare, this was an excellent discovery considering our less than favourable conditions.

Close up of Mycena stylobates

Close-up of the tiny Mycena stylobates

John’s enthusasim for all things fungal was clearly evident along the way, and that’s no surprise condiering the important role that these organisms play in the forest. Being saprophytic, fungi break down dead organic matter. Their almost invisible mycelium spread across the forest floor – so even when you can’t see fungus, they are everywhere.

John Bailey inspecting slime mold

Inspecting the slime mold Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa

Our next find was a beautiful slime mold called Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa. Although not a fungus, these single-celled protists were once classified as such. Fungi thsemselves can be divided into three broad groups. Those that rot logs, pathogens which attack plants and soil fungi which infect plant roots.

It wasn’t long before we came across our best find – a toadstool named Pluteus cervinus, otherwise called deer shield. Best identified by its pink spores, this species grows on wood.

John Bailey with deer shield fungus

Deer shield has pink spores

Read Full Post »

We have just returned from a busy morning’s work searching for evidence of mammal activity in Truckle Woods. Shipham 1st School were accompanied on their search by David and Gill Brown who helped identify the species encountered as they delved through the undergrowth.

Gill Brown showing King Alfred's cakes

Gill Brown with King Alfred's cakes

A variety of species were discovered in the woods here at Tyntesfield, including fungi (King Alfred’s cakes as seen in the picture above) and numerous invertebrates – which are currently waiting to be accurately identified. Although we didn’t see any mammals we did find evidence that suggests rabbits, squirrels and badgers all live in Truckle wood, such as nibbled nuts and  a recently excavated badger sett.

 Fat-legged flower bettle

Fat-legged flower bettle


A video of the morning will be coming soon!

Thanks to Shipham 1st School for a fantastic morning – we hope you all had fun.

Check out more images of all things Bioblitz on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bioblitzbristol/) and watch out for a video of the morning’s activities coming soon!

Read Full Post »

A small class has just returned to HQ with a collection of fungi. Waiting nearby, the media team managed to snap a few shots of the impressive collection. Take a look at this puffball, which releases a cloud of spores when touched.


Look closely and you can see the spores!

Read Full Post »

Searching for the strange life forms that lurk in the dark, damp places of Blaise Castle estate, Bristol.

Although expectations were low due to the late spring and recent dryness, 19 species were discovered including Puffballs, Earth Stars, Brackets, Slime molds & Oyster Mushrooms… yum, yum.

A Bioblitz adventure in Fungi by Paul Williams & Donna Dixon.

Read Full Post »

Debra Hearne promoting Breathing Places

Who are you?

I’m Debra Hearne.

Why are you here?

Promoting the BBC’s Breathing Places project.

What’s been your favourite part so far?

We’ve had lots of families taking our free nature guides. One little girl particularly loved our guide to having fun with funghi! We have stickers too, which the children love. We want to encourage them to feel at home with nature.

Read Full Post »

This video shows some of the smaller species found throughout the BioBlitz in a big way!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: