Earlier this month Georgia Harrison from South London was visiting a friend and taking in a visit to Hadrian’s Wall. On her walk, she came across a particularly strange fungi.
Having visited The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre earlier that day she had picked up a Waxcap Fungi Guide from which she was able to identify the fungi as the rare Date Waxcap (Hygrocybe Spadicea). She was able to email a photo of the fungi to National Park Ranger Shaun Hackett who, following a visit to the site was able to confirm the Waxcap’s identity.
Amazingly on that same weekend, The Sill was playing host to a two-day Waxcap Fungi Workshop for mycologists from across the country and two other Date Waxcaps had been spotted in a different geographical area.
Professional Mycologist and course tutor for the weekend Liz Holden said, ”The Date Waxcap is listed as a priority species in England, Scotland and Wales and is considered a widespread but rarely recorded.”
“There was great excitement at the finds. This beautiful member of the Waxcap grassland suite of fungi has fruit bodies with a dark brown, often conical, cap with yellow or orange gills and stem beneath.”
She added, “such grassland habitat is in rapid decline across Europe and Britain and these internationally important sites need to be valued and maintained.”
This brings the total Date Waxcap records in the National Park to eight and along with results from previous surveys helps confirm Northumberland National Park as one of the best sites in the UK for these colourful and fascinating fungi.
To download your own copy of the Waxcap Guide please click the image below.