Walk Report: 21 October 2021 Millyford Bridge with Robert and Glynis Payne

After many hours of torrential rain we were pleased to be greeted with a beautiful sunny, albeit cold, day. A Song Thrush sent us on our way across the open lawn of Millyford Bridge, site of a sawmill during the First World War, operated by men from Canada and Portugal to provide timber for the war effort. All that remains today are some concrete blocks and the fireplace of a long gone building, now known as The Portuguese Fireplace.

A beautiful morning for a walk! © Sue Skarstein

On entering the Holidays Hill Inclosure we quickly turned off the cycle track to the right and along a path into dense woodland where we came across a variety of fungi including Yellow Stagshorn, Bay Bolete, Fly Agaric, False Deathcap and many others.

Yellow Stagshorn © Sue Skarstein

We made our way through the wood, mostly with conifer on one side and deciduous on the other, coming to a more open Beech wood where we found Amethyst Deceiver among the leaf litter, Porcelain Fungus and Southern Brackets. A Fallow buck with an impressive set of antlers came running through very close. Skirting the boundary of Wooson’s Hill Inclosure we stopped for a break in a sunny glade filled with Chaffinch, Blue Tit and a Treecreeper. More fungi followed as we continued including Shaggy Inkcap, earthballs and various brittlegills

Lichens, fungi, mosses and ferns © Sue Skarstein

Cladonia floerkeana © Sue Skarstein

On leaving the Inclosure at Wooson’s Hill we found the King’s Mark, a slashed arrow, on several old Beeches, a mark from the 17th century indicating that they were earmarked for use in ship building for the King’s fleet. Crossing the road, we took the path into Holmhill Inclosure where we found a further rich variety of fungi including Coral Fungus more Porcelain Fungus, Purple Jellydisc and Oyster Mushroom.

Purple Jellydisc © Sue Skarstein

We retraced our steps across the wet lawn near the car park with Common Darters dancing around us.

Common Darter © Richard Coomber

All in all, a fungal extravaganza and too much to identify in the time we had available. Indeed, two members repeated the walk after lunch! RP

The walk's route from Robert Payne