Walk report: 03 October 2019 Busketts Lawn

Porcelain Fungus
© Glynis Payne
A party of fifteen, nearly sixteen with an enthusiastic pony, set off on a rather overcast morning but it quickly developed into a lovely crisp sunny autumn day with the main highlight being the wonderful variety of fungi that we encountered along the way.

Walking past the cricket ground we found a collection of Fly Agaric and then on down a broad swathe of lawn with a number of Green Elf Cup stained branches we were treated to a flight display from at least a couple of Wood Larks, several Mistle Thrushes and a fleeting sight of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Southern Bracket
© Richard Smith
On diving into the dense old wood we came across a fallen Beech that was covered in hundreds of small yellow mushrooms and the splintered base was host to good specimens of Southern Bracket.

Emerging from the wood we walked along open rides with a lot of chatter in the trees from Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit and Chaffinch. A gang of about a dozen Long-tailed Tits crossed the path just ahead of us.

Brown Birch Bolete
© Glynis Payne
A coffee break by a stream revealed Wood Spurge and Wood Sorrel and an unusual white coral type fungus covered in green mould on the underside of a fallen Beech plus a couple of Chanterelle. Then on across the footbridge and up into the wood, emerging again onto an open lawn called Gutter Heath with ponies and cattle grazing among the tussucky mounds with a Painted Lady flitting briefly by.

Winding back across the stream we passed an oak that had had one of its lower burrs illegally removed with a chain saw. These are highly valued in order to make very decorative veneers from the marbled and knotted wood. A sign in the car park had asked for information about this activity.

Common Puffball

© Richard Smith
We heard the croaking of a Raven and the call of a Green Woodpecker and found several more fungi species, including King Alfred’s Cakes, Brown Rollrim, Porcelain Fungus and Brown Birch Bolete, before returning past the cricket ground and back to the car park. R&GP