MERIPILUS giganteus (Giant Polypore)

by Clive Knight

This is the fungus I found at the base of an oak tree in the reserve at the beginning of October. Rich Murphy identified it as a Giant Polypore (Meripilus giganteus). I took the first picture (see above) on October 15th when the fungus was about 10cm across.
Rich and I have followed its progress and photographed it regularly through October, November and up to the 3rd December when it had started to decline. At its fullest it was approx 55cm across by 25cm height.

Fly agaric again

This is fly agaric, a mycorrhizal fungus, Amanita muscaria, which is found in the reserve every year despite our lack of its preferred partners: birch and pine trees. In classic pictures of this red and white fungus, those that don’t have an elf sitting on top are usually growing picturesquely in the moss under a birch tree.

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Fly agaric

Clive Knight’s yearly search among the reserve’s fungi has turned up fly agaric, the classic spotted toadstool from our fairy tales. Here is a gallery of some of the pictures of Amanita muscaria we have been sent over the years.

Header image by Clive Knight

Time-lapse fungi

None of these species of fungus are local, in fact they all come from the other side of the planet. But this is such stunning time-lapse photography by Australian Stephen Axford that we felt you should see it.

Header image by our own wildlife photographer Simon Knight.

Yellow brain fungus

Pictures and a message from Clive Knight:

Walking round the reserve today, I saw this bright yellow fungus growing on an old Oak branch. I have no idea what it is. Can anybody help?

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King Alfred’s cakes

Daldinia concentrica: known as King Alfred’s cakes or coal fungus grows on the park’s trees, in this case on a dead ash tree.

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The Wood Wide Web

by David Feather

I enjoy mushrooms, particularly as part of a full English breakfast. What I have never, till now, known, is that they and their other fungi relatives could save the planet.

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Fly Agaric

by Clive Knight

This is a sequence of pictures of a Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) taken every day from last Friday, the 22nd, up until today, Tuesday 26th. The last picture shows the fungus fully developed at approximately 17cm across, but collapsed. I have found that when they are fully open they do not last long so I am keeping my eye on some more in the reserve hopefully to take pictures of one fully open and still upright.

The header picture is the first in this series, taken by Clive Knight on Friday 22nd October.

The fruiting bodies of a fungus living in a rotting log, found and photographed after yesterday’s rain by Clive Knight.

As usual, we are unable to identify this fungus and would really welcome the help of an expert.


Wikipedia defines bioturbation as the reworking of soils and sediments by animals or plants. Here is a video of a system with and without soil fauna such as earthworms, mites and isopods over a 15 week period: this is what is happening to the fallen leaves all over the reserve.

King Alfred’s cakes

Daldinia concentrica: known as King Alfred’s cakes or coal fungus grows on the park’s trees, in this case on a dead ash tree.

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A fungus called turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) photographed in the reserve by Clive Knight and identified for us by Tree Officer Rich Murphy.

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Yesterday, while surveying pollinator networks in the reserve, Ian Bushell discovered a colony of bright pink pyramidal orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis), an important new species for the reserve.

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