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Monday, 14 October 2019

Holywell Green to Gosport Clough Fungi Survey

Several days worth of rain followed by a fine and pleasant Saturday resulted in another fantastic trip to what is fast becoming one of the best sites in Yorkshire to see grassland fungi. 
The strategy to maximise our chances of finding the most fungi was to form a line with a couple of yards between each other and slowly progress forwards. 
It worked very well most of the time but as you can see here everybody easily became distracted by the never ending supply of interesting finds 
(Photo by Steve Blacksmith).

Another of Steve's photos looking from Gosport Clough back towards Holywell Green.

Star of the show for many was this Powdercap Strangler (Squamanita paradoxa). 
It's one of our most remarkable mushrooms which is parasitic on the Earthy Powdercap (Cystoderma amianthinum).
It takes over the host and replaces the cap and gills with it's own but retains the original stipe,
creating in effect a hybrid between the two. You can clearly see the joint between the two species.
The only book I could find it in says it to be extremely rare!

This one was suspected to be another rarity - Hygrocybe lacmus
but on further examination it now appears to be a Yellow Foot Waxcap (Hygrocybe flavipes).
The lack of yellow base to the stipe prevented a more immediate diagnosis.
Still quite a rare Waxcap by all accounts.

A more "run of the mill" rarity was the now expected Violet Coral (Clavaria zollingeri)
which became even rarer when I inadvertently stepped on one clump :-(

A more common but equally stunning fungi was this Crimson Waxcap (Hygrocybe punicea)
one of four waxcap species new to me on the day.

It has to be said that without Peachysteve's knowledge and experience many of the most interesting fungi would have gone unidentified including this Oily Waxcap (Hygrocybe quieta).

The same could be said about this Orange Waxcap (Hygrocybe aurantiosplendens).

A nice group of Heath Waxcaps (Hygrocybe laeta) in the sunshine.

This tiny Ivory Bonnet (Mycena flavoalba) was my sixth new species for the trip.

An easy one to miss were these ubiquitous Hymenoscypha fagineus on fallen beechmast husks. 

Much more easy to find was this slug-eaten but picture worthy Bolete - possibly Red Cracking Bolete.

My little colony of very rare Yorkshire moths - the Lichen Case-bearer is doing well judging by this mammoth count of 17 larval cases in just one small section of wall.


  1. Thanks for the report and great to see the site is getting even better for fungi. Shame I couldn't go on the walk.

  2. Brilliant pictures and text Charlie. Fantastic day out with everyone fired up by Peachysteve's excitement as we found more and yet more waxcaps and corals. Pity the only other field we knew for Violet Coral, at the other end of Calderdale, seems to have lost its special ancient grassland character. Let's all work hard to keep these fields at Gosport Clough prominent in the eyes of the owner and the statutory bodies. I believe it is going to be if not already designated a Local Wildlife Site.

  3. Fabulous photos Charlie! This post is a valuable resource for those of us who have difficulty identifying all the fungi out there - very clearly explained and illustrated, thank you! It certainly was a great day.