Amanita Musaria Fungi, Lanarkshire, Scotland

This morning, I joined a small group which was focused on foraging for fungi at Drumpellier Country Park near Coatbridge in Lanarkshire, about 13 miles ( 20 km) east of Glasgow, Scotland.

This country park, which extends to 500 acres and encompasses two lochs (lakes), was until relatively recent times a heavy industrial area with coal mining and iron production. However, nature and recreation are now the key themes.

Our group was led by a fungi expert and we were fortunate in finding a rich harvest of diverse species within a compact area of wetland and woodland.

Here is a summary of some interesting facts:-

  • Britain is home to some 12,500 species of fungi, a term which includes mushrooms.
  • Many trees and fungi have symbiotic relationships with each other. Without fungi there would be no trees.
  • Fungi contain enzymes which break down organic matter and facilitate decomposition of dead wood.
  • The shape of fungi are moulded by the local environment.
  • Many types of fungi are edible but, clearly, great care and specialist knowledge is required.
  • Some fungi have medicinal, practical and even hallucinogenic properties. For example, Ink-caps were used for manufacture of ink in days past and Bracket Fungi have anti-septic properties and parts can be used as tinder for fire lighting.
  • Fungi contain mycelium which is the vegetative element consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae.

A fascinating learning experience which lasted about 3 hours.

 

Mycelium from beneath ground surface

 

Bracket Fungi at Drumpellier Country Park

Pink-gilled Fungi at Drumpellier Country Park

Milk-cap Fungi at Drumpellier Country Park

Ink-cap Fungi at Drumpellier Country Park

Bonnet Cap Fungi at Drumpellier Country Park

Bracket Fungi at Drumpellier Country Park

Olive Oysterling Fungi at Drumpellier Country Park

Trooping Funnel Fungi, Drumpellier Country Park

Bay Bolete Fungi, Drumpellier Country Park

Hairy Curtain Crust Fungi, Drumpellier Country Park

Silver Leaf Fungi, Drumpellier Country Park

Purple Jelly Disk Fungi, Drumpellier Country Park, Scotland

Rust Gills Fungi, Drumpellier Country Park

Small group exploring for fungi in Drumpellier Country Park, Scotland

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