As autumn began, RSPB Loch of Strathbeg was delighted to host a fungi identification course in partnership with NESBREC (North East Scotland Biological Records Centre). Twenty keen fungi hunters joined forces on the day, led by the enormously knowledgeable Liz Holden.
Liz leads the group into the wet fen, near Fen Hide where an infamous stinkhorn fungus is uncovered. (Photo: Sarah Bedford)
Ranging in skills from complete beginner to expert, the group visited four different habitats on the reserve to see what type of fungi we might find. We explored beech woodland, wet fen (alder and willow), grassland and dunes, and we weren’t disappointed! Fifty different species were found and some rarities too.
Throughout the day, Liz wowed us with amazing facts about fungi – we learned that:
The beautiful, delicate underside of a fungus found in the wet fen (Photo: Kim Grant)
The inside of a “witches egg” fungus, which will grow into a stinkhorn (Photo: Sarah Bedford)
An alder bracket fungus found in the wet fen, which was thought to be many years old (Photo: Sarah Bedford)
Thanks to Liz’s enthusiasm and a variety of rich habitats on the reserve it was a fascinating and useful course, enjoyed by everyone who attended; we were all inspired to go and do more fungi hunting and even join our local fungus group! The Grampian Fungus group goes on regular outings to different local sites to identify fungi and can be found on Facebook at: https://en-gb.facebook.com/grampianfungusgroup/
A selection of the fungi found on the reserve during the training day at Loch of Strathbeg (Photo: Sarah Bedford)
Sarah Bedford-Intern, North East Scotland Reserves
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