9 Nov 2014

Growing the Future Fungi

Colin Miles

Nov 4th 2014: This Tuesday we arrived to find that our rain god had put his/her clock forward instead of back, so it didn’t stop raining until 11.00. This was actually very useful as it enabled Bruce and Rosie to tell us about the 5 year Glas Tir, or Tir Glas project. As Bruce says, ‘this basically means we’ve signed a 5 year agreement to get paid to farm here. In return, we have to manage every pocket of land in a proscribed environmentally friendly way. To get to that point, we had to name every patch of land on the NNR. This has led us to think it might be an idea for our volunteers to ‘adopt’ certain named patches/fields/copses as their own to monitor, but to also retain some crown jewel sites (such as Trawscoed Meadow) where everyone can pitch in as usual‘.

Anyway, we all retired to the restaurant for coffee and to consider how we should proceed with all of this. Although the idea that everyone should be allocated a field to examine is attractive it is probably best if we first of all have a look at all the fields, discover what is in them and then consider how best to proceed, who wants what, is best suited, etc. Something to be further discussed and poured over when it is wet.

Then, as the sun came out we were able to go to the Growing the Future site and have a look round there. Somewhat to our surprise there were lots of Waxcaps, and Fairy Rings varying in size from just a couple of feet upwards, plus one Swallow’s nest inside the shelter together with evidence of failed attempts to build another on the central strut. And Jan found a Slime Mould!

One additional event, or non-event as it turned out was John’s attempts to catch sight of the Badgers using his field camera. Alas nothing captured – we think the Badgers might still have been able to smell him! And a problem always with these cameras is that they can be a bit slow to trigger, despite their claims. This means that a passing animal or bird can easily be missed. One answer is to leave peanuts near there which they stop to eat.

We also looked at the state of the Trees as we wandered around. As can be seen from the photos below, we are at the stage when differences between species become apparent, as well as between trees of the same species. The weather too has a big influence. This year the mild Autumn and lack of frost has meant that some trees at least have retained their leaves for a longer period than usual. The Horse Chestnut in the visitors car park has more or less shed all its leaves, whilst the one near the GTF classrooms is only just beginning the process. One is rather shaded whilst the other is in full sun, so maybe that is also a factor. At least the Leaf Mining caterpillar doesn’t appear to have reached us yet.

Many thanks as always to John and Peter for their splendid photos. And if any volunteer or member wants to join us please send an email to Jane Down– you DON’T have to be an expert in anything, just interested. If you click on the Wildlife Walks heading on the left-hand side under News you will see a list of the last 10 Wildlife Survey blogs. If you find an injured bird, hedgehog or other wild animal and want help and advice then phone the Gower Bird hospital. on 01792 371630.