Crane Park Fungi Foray

Friday 18th October 2018

Every year us mushroom people say “what a strange and different year it has been for fungi” , well, 2017 has been one of those with bells on!

Mid July into mid August saw an explosion of fungi, which is a time of year that is normally reserved for the warmth loving Boletus and Russula species but not this summer, all sorts of fungi seemed to make a dash for it following high temperatures and rain.

By the time the foray at Crane Park came round, things had changed, the conditions were very dry and most fungi had dashed back underground in search of moisture.  However, it wasn’t all doom and fungi gloom, it invariably never is with fungi as there is always something that will catch your eye.

The surprise this time was a very rarely recorded Ink Cap that loves living in and emerging from holes in trees, the mushroom in question, Coprinopsis spelaiophila. I had only seen this species once before, out in the wilds of Kent and I knew of a recent collection from South London.  The record from Crane Park was fruiting from a hole low down on a Sycamore tree, the third only record for Middlesex.

One small wooded area, provided three nice records, that of Chlorophyllum brunneum a Shaggy Parasol with a huge, marginate base, Agaricus augustus, The Prince with its almondy aroma and Agaricus sylvaticus, the Scaly Wood Mushroom which bruises bright red when scratched.

It might not have been the best of forays we’ve had at Crane Park but we were still educated and thrilled by the fungi that we came across.  In total, 16 species were recorded (see Fungi Foray in our Wildlife Reports section).

All of the fungi recorded from the Crane Park fungi forays as well as other forays and surveys I have carried out within Greater London are to be found in my forthcoming book, FUNGI-Mushrooms & Toadstools of Parks, Gardens, Heaths and Woodlands.

Andy Overall
November 2017

This Fungi Foray was part of FORCE's Community Walks and Talks Programme.