Quantock Hills Blog

Fungi on the Farm

- Tim and Fungi specialist Patrick Watts-Mabbott find 8 species of rare waxcaps at Durborough Farm

Tim Russell

Posted by Tim Russell on 01 November 2011

Fungi on the Farm Sunday’s fungus foray at Durborough Farm was yet again a great success.  The day involved a morning and afternoon walk in the fields and woods on Janet White’s farm above Aisholt.

The walks were led by Patrick Watts-Mabbott from Exmoor National Park who enthusiastically shared his knowledge of the subject with around 40 of us through the day.  A whole range of fascinating fungi were found during the day including the rare Waxcap fungi of which we found 8 different species, including Ballerina (red data book species), Meadow, Snowy, Blackening, Scarlett, Parrot, Cedar and Hygrocybe persistens!

Waxcaps require a number of environmental conditions including, unimproved, short sward grassland which Janet has managed to conserve on her hill farm through her commitment to sensitive environmental management over many years.  They are an important Biodiversity Action Plan species for Somerset and I will be sending the observations to the Somerset Wildlife Trust for their records.

The walk above Aisholt gave us stunning views of Aisholt Common and down the valley out across the winding River Parrett to the Mendip Hills.  We were very lucky with the weather and most of us managed to purchase a bottle of Janet’s home made apple juice, only bottled the day before.  A very enjoyable and informative autumn Sunday.

And a big thank you to Janet for allowing us to explore her farm and joining us on both walks!

(photo shows one of Ballerina Waxcaps found on the walk)

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