Northcliffe Woods, Shipley, 13th Oct 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Tue, 13th Oct 2020, 4:35pm

Our group of 5 began a short walk from the Car Park which is just off Bingley Rd. The forecast was for a showery day & we did not get lucky!  Light rain fell for most of our stroll.

Fungi were seen on various fallen trunks & stumps but virtually none were seen on the woodland floor, so no boletes, milkcaps, russulas, agarics or amanitas. This may be because the woodland is very steep & the predominant trees are sycamores. I have found that the best local woods for fungi are those that contain a lot of birch such as Shipley Glen.

Despite the above the following species were all identified; Common Earthballs, Candlesnuff, Brown Rollrim, Dead Person's Fingers & Mycenas (Angel's Bonnets). Some jelly fungi, hemi-mycenas & even tinier stuff had to remain unnamed! After ascending the stone steps at the top of the woods we took the hard surfaced path back to our starting point. Alongside this path both Blushing Bracket & Birch Polypore were spotted on birch.  As I got closer to the kiddies play area I noticed a lovely group of Shaggy Scalycaps at the base of a large willow/ash?

The Dead person's Fingers were so named by me because I cannot reliably distinguish between the two species. Based on generalised descriptions in certain publications the external characteristics are those of Dead Moll's rather than Dead Man's. The specimens I examined were slender & had a flexible stem, which is what some of the books say denotes Molls. I have, however, listened to debates between some of Yorkshire's top mycologists & the jury is out as to whether these features are truly diagnostic. The only certain method to tell them apart is by microscopy & I do not possess one of those!

The gentle walk lasted no more than 2 hours though two of the hardier members sat on a wet bench to eat their lunch so they were out a tad longer!

See photos here. 

John Gavaghan


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