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This month has been quiet as the inclement December weather has meant that some of the work parties I was planning to go on have been cancelled. This means I’ve spent more time in the office working on property leaflets and writing walk routes.  Earlier in the month I went out to Greenbank wood at Ambleside to look at some forestry work which had recently been done, as well as spending a rather muddy Friday morning on the Helm removing some small yew trees, where I found some more interesting Fungi.

Greenbank wood, although a very small property, is home to some quite spectacular veteran beech trees as well as some lovely scots pine. The small woodland is a diverse little woodland which shows different stages of growth from new sapling trees to the veteran beech which stand over the property. The list of properties I haven’t seen yet is getting smaller and I hope to have them all ticked off in the New Year.

As you may have seen in last month’s blog, the autumn and winter are the best time of year for finding fungi and even in December there are still plenty to be found. The best Fungi find for December was some amazing witches butter fungi (Tremella mesenterica) which was taking over a tree branch, so called due to its bright yellow colour and greasy appearance. Unfortunately the photo below doesn’t do it justice as the fungi was sprouting all over the tree branch and well up the tree!

Witches butter or Yellow brain fungus (Tremella mesenterica)

I also found two other species of fungi, within about 10 ft of the more obvious witches butter, which I’ve found more difficult to identify.  After some research I think the brown bracket fungus is false turkey tail (Stereum hirsutum) as this is a species of fungi which can vary be quite varied in its appearance so can be tough to confirm exactly what it is.

False turkey tail or Hairy curtain crust (Stereum hirsutum)

The second fungi is the really puzzling one. I believe it may be black witches butter or Exidia glandulosa. This fungi is another which can vary greatly in appearance and so can be difficult to identify.  If anyone with greater mycological knowledge than my own knows exactly what they are I’d certainly be grateful to hear from you.

Maybe Black witches butter (Exidia glandulosa)