Fungal Forays and Frosty Mornings

©Guy Edwardes 2020 Vision

As we are creeping through autumn and the nights are drawing in, the mornings are starting get frosty. The crisp leaves that have been blown from the trees in the woods are really crunching underfoot making it hard to do much mammal watching with the deer dancing off at the first whisper of a crunched leaf.


Our public event for October was a fungal foray. With so many people interested it made for a brilliant event with lots of eyes busily spotting the hidden fungi in the woods.  We found a wonderful 35 species in the small area we covered, I am sure there are many more waiting to be found too as we only managed to look through just half of Craggy Wood.  The highlight for me was the amazing colourful deceivers and jelly fungi we found.  Bright Yellow Jelly Antler, the purple Amethyst Deceiver and the orange coloured Deceiver all looking amazing against the autumnal backdrop of the forest floor.  

A talented local coppice worker Lee Basset has started re-coppicing Dorothy Farrer’s spring woods for us.  He will be working here over the next few years, coppicing small sections at a time, eventually bringing it all back into coppice rotation.  He is a talented craftsperson too using the coppiced wood to produce beautiful woven fence panels and besom brooms along with lots of other wonderful coppice products.

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Coppice Work at Staveley Woodlands © Danielle Chalmers

October has seen us host our first conservation day for Staveley woodlands.  A small but mighty team took on clearing the parking area by the Craggy Wood gateway helping to create a little more space for people to park and explore the woods. They cleared back the overgrown gateways between Craggy wood and the link land that will be the new path to Dorothy Farrer’s, and also worked hard restoring two of the collapsed steps on the path through Craggy Wood.  The next conservation day is going to be in Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood, you can find out more about it on the Events page. 

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Staveley Woodlands © Anne Salisbury

Work has also started on the Tree Nursery this month with an amazing amount of clearing work being done the potential for the space is really starting to show.  The site has historically been used as allotments for the village. The lovely walled terraced growing areas and pathways are being unearthed as we pull out the scrub that has grown.  Digging will start soon, with our first trees arriving at the beginning of November we still have a lot of work to be done preparing the ground.  If you would like to join in with helping in the tree nursery you can find further details on the Get Involved page. Thank you!

Danielle Chalmers - Staveley Woodlands Officer