assembled in the National Trust car park on a sunny, warm day. Early arrivals had
glimpsed Redstart and a flock of Linnets, whilst later arrivals had excellent views
of a Red Kite.
Almost immediately, Alan found a sycamore branch bearing ‘sooty bark fungus’
grazed by squirrels, and a few steps on we stopped to admire a mossy wall
covered in Fox-tail Feather-moss (Thamnobryum alopecurum), Flat Neckera
(Neckera complanata) and Wall Scalewort (Porella platyphylla).
The path gently descended through mature woodland carpeted in Wild Garlic and
native Bluebells . We paused to listen to the rich birdsong which included
Blackcap, Nuthatch and Coal Tit, and watched a pair of Treecreepers and a male
The National Trust practice of leaving felled timber in situ provided much
opportunity to discover the fungal diversity on these as well as on the living
trees. A large example of the uncommon Giant Elm Bracket (Rigidiporus
ulmarius) was found at the base of a Horse Chestnut tree.
Early spring flowers were in evidence- Early Wood Violet,
Melick, Primroses, and the unfurling fronds of Hart’s Tongue Fern.
A small detour brought us to a stunning lunchtime spot with views over a
sweeping valley and accompanied by the calls of Ravens and Pheasants.
Climbing back up the valley, we stopped to admire Town Hall Clock (Adoxa
moschatellina), and some prolific growths of Swan’s-neck Thyme-moss (Mnium
hornum)with its dangling capsules on tall red setae.
The path emerged into damp grassland, where mature Sycamore trees had
abundant epiphytes and logs nearby were colonised with lichens including
Cladonia fimbriata and an introduced species of moss: Heath Star-moss
(Campylopus introflexus) with its strongly reflexed hair points. Soon we were on
the main path towards the house where the new tea pavilion in the garden
provided a refreshing end to a fabulous spring day.
|Town Hall Clock|