Follow a 360° family fungi foray | Natural History Museum

Follow a 360° family fungi foray | Natural History Museum


My name’s Sophie, I’m the area ranger here at Springhill
National Trust property at Moneymore. Springhill is what they call
a plantation house, so it was built by planters
who came over from Scotland in the 17th century. It’s made up of farmland,
woodland, parkland, gardens and it would have been about
300 acres at its peak, now we’ve only got about 80 acres of it. Today we have been on a fungi foray, we’ve been working in conjunction with
Cookstown Wildlife Trust, which has got a lot of expertise and skills, so we’ve been sharing our knowledge, and having a walk round
all the different habitats here at Springhill, and just seeing, identifying what fungi
are growing at this time of year, and making a record
for what’s growing on the estate. We have seen tiny little wax caps
growing on the lawns, to big giant polypores
growing on beech trees. We’ve seen rather gruesome-looking honey fungus
that’s attacking dead trees, and we’ve seen
very delicate little porcelain mushrooms that grow on dead wood
and beech trees and when the light shines through them
it looks like very very fine china. Just a huge variety of different mushrooms
growing in different habitats, on lawns, deadwood,
woodlands, in the leaf litter, and just a real, a good example
of all the different things, and because it’s such
an old historic landscape that’s actually why we’ve got so many
different types of fungi here because the relationship
has built up over the years with the trees and plants
that we have here. If we have deadwood fall or dead trees,
we actually try and leave them in situ, so if there’s a dead tree and it’s not
going to fall anywhere where visitors will be, we actually just leave it where it is
and let the fungi start to decompose it. If there’s a tree that needs to be chopped down in
the woodland for safety reasons, we would stack the deadwood beside it
into a pile to encourage the fungi as a great place
for them to find a source of food. We also, in areas of wildflowers, we would usually cut it at the end of the
summer so maybe September, but we found that that was actually
the best time for the fungi to fruit, so we’ve delayed our cutting now
until nearly December so that we allow the
fungi time to give off their spores so that they can reproduce
and regrow next year. Over the moon with how today’s gone, I mean we’ve been really blessed,
the weather has been fantastic, a perfect autumn day. And we’ve had little kids as young as 6, and we’ve had older people able to share their
knowledge between each other. The kids have been running about
and finding the fungi for us, and shouting, letting us come over
and letting us know where it is. It’s just been brilliant and it’s given us a really great record
of what we have here. We’ve identified
over 40 different species today, so it’s been great to have everybody
here, all different people and to see Springhill
busy on such a lovely day.

1 thought on “Follow a 360° family fungi foray | Natural History Museum”

  1. Wow! really cool and extraordinary video! Thank you. I'm in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA and I've been trying to figure out mushrooms and things that are edible around here.

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