Quantock Hills Blog

Fun day looking for fungi

- Photo courtesy: Dave Pusill

Iain Porter

Posted by Iain Porter on 19 October 2012

Fun day looking for fungi There are many opportunities to help us understand more about the flora and fauna of the Quantock Hills. Many volunteers helped ranger Andy Harris with the summer heathland bird survey in summer, or with the longed eared owl surveys in winter. Others help out with the annual deer count for the Quantock Deer Management & Conservation Group. There is something all these opporunties share…

... you usually have to get up early or stay up late to take part. I prefer my flora and fauna research to be a bit more sedate and social, so this morning I was joined by Volunteer Coordinator Owen Jones and 3 of our volunteers to look for waxcap fungi on Cothelstone Hill. There are a number of species of waxcap, some more common than others, and they tend to favour unimproved grassland, a habitat that has declined over the last 50 years. Cothelstone Hill is managed for its unimproved grassland mainly by grazing with the Exmoor Ponies and the presence of waxcap fungi is a good indicator that we are doing things right.

 

Today we found seven different species including a supurb example of a pink waxcap, one of the rarer species. We will be undertaking a further survey over the next couple of weeks but this is only one of the opportunities to get involved. You can help with surveys either through one of our own monitoring programmes or through the groups we work with, such as Reptile & Amphibians Group (RAGS) or if you fancy something a bit more energetic there is always the volunteer rangers and conservation volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved please call us on 01823 451884 and speak to Owen our Volunteer Coordinator.


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