In search of fantastic fungi

In search of fantastic fungi

Fungi found at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve

Recently I joined Paul Nichol of Cumbria Fungi Group and several enthusiastic fungi foragers to learn about marvellous mushroom and terrific toadstools.

The first myth of the day was dispelled with the revelation that people often use toadstool and mushroom interchangeably for the same types of fungi. The misplaced belief that toadstools are poisonous and mushrooms are edible was also put to rights during an interesting presentation that looked at different types of fungi found around Cumbria.

One of the best things about fungi in my opinion are the fantastic names – green elfcup, chicken of the woods, and dog stinkhorn, to name a few! They also make regular appearances in folklore, we’ve all seen pictures of fairies sat atop the distinctive red and white fly agaric, and would you dare to step in a fairy ring…?

After the presentation and a quick lunch we headed out to see what we could find among the grass of Eycott Hill Nature Reserve. I wasn’t optimistic at first, seeing nothing by a sea of grasses, but brightly coloured little jewels started appearing all over the nature reserve once we all started looking.

Once we got them back to the village hall for an identification session the rich colours became all the more apparent from the bright yellows of butter waxcap, to the appropriately titled crimson waxcap, and the stunning purple of a wood blewit.

The intensity of colour varied on different samples of the same fungi, making id tricky at times. For example our parrot waxcap only had a slight green sheen to the gills but ours neighbours was green over most of the cap. Other fungi appeared identical to the naked eye but on closer inspection had some subtle differences, the glutinous and butter waxcaps look the same but one has a sticky stem!

Here’s the full list of what we found on Eycott Hill Nature Reserve:

Apricot Club (Clavulinopsis luteoalba)

Golden Spindles (Clavulinopsis fusiformis)

Meadow Coral (Clavulinopsis corniculata)

Yellow Club (Clavulinopsis helvola)

Eyelash cup (Cheilymenia fimicola)

Slimy Earthtongue (Geoglossum glutinosum)

Hairy Earthtongue (Trichoglossum hirsutum)

Snowy Waxcap (Hygrocybe virgineus)

Golden Waxcap (Hygrocybe chlorophana)

Butter Waxcap (Hygrocybe ceracea)

Scarlet Waxcap (Hygrocybe coccinea)

Glutinous Waxcap (Hygrocybe glutinipes)

Meadow Waxcap (Hygrocybe pratensis)

Honey Waxcap (Hygrocybe reidii)

Surprise Waxcap (Hygrocybe splendidissima)

Heath Waxcap (Gliophorus laetus)

Slimy Waxcap (Gliophorus irrigatus)

Parrot Waxcap (Gliophorus psittacinnus)

Brown Mottlegill (Panaeolus foenescii)

Liberty Cap (Psilocybe semilanceata)

Peppery Roundhead (Stropharia pseudocyanea)

Dung Roundhead (Stropharia semiglobata)

Wood blewit (Lepista nuda)

You can find Cumbria Fungi Group on Facebook.


National Lottery Heritage Fund


Work at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve is possible thanks to National Lottery Players, and support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.