More rare Fungi spotted in our park

Here is another update from Fabrice Boltho from The Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, who has been continuing to spot and record fungi in the park.  You may have seen him with his group of spotters gathering tiny specimen pieces to send off to identify.

This time we found Russula pseudoaffinis. A Mediterranean species associated with Holm Oak in Southern Europe. The 3rd known British site for this species is now the holm oak in front of Brockwell Hall. This is a big brown Russula, unique among UK species in having flecks of veil (rather like the spots on a fly agaric but fainter) on the cap. First found in 2006 on Hampstead Heath, it has since been found at Kew. It looks like being one of those things that fruits only after a hot summer.

 Also a very showy purple Cortinarius which is only known from a few sites in the UK. Brockwell Park’s was under a Hornbeam. Species may be Cortinarius balteatocumatilis. Geoffrey Kibby took it away to study in more detail.

 I also found a rare earthstar in the park (only recorded 35 times for the UK).

An earthstar fungi similiar to that spotted by our fungi guru Fabrice Boltho
An earthstar fungi similar to that spotted by our fungi guru Fabrice Boltho

 Species is (according to Kibby) Geastrum floriforme which is much more common in southern Europe but rare in the UK and mostly found along the south coast. In 2007 its listing was nationally scarce.

 This fungus is distinctive as being one of only two hygroscopic uk earthstar (species that unfurl when they are wet). The fruitbodies I found , which were last year’s (they hang about for a while), were still capable of doing this in about five minutes, changing from something withered to something very cute as you watched. They might be worth collecting for Nature explorers as there are a few left.

 I have a suspicion it might potentially be Geastrum corollinum.   It is critically endangered in the UK. The two specimens I collected were taken to Kew so we should find out.

The Blue Fungus
The Blue Fungus

 Also some interesting boletes. One I’m pretty sure is Boletus legaliae (spectacular large bolete).  We have a photo so it should be possible to confirm this. It is not recorded from this part of the world. Also Boletus pulverentulus (occasional to uncommon)  There were a lot on Saturday, though by yesterday it looks like most had been taken. A smallish bolete that goes instantly deep blue at the slightest touch. If you break a piece of the cap off it discolours to a deep inky blue immediately. Get out there and check it out now! It might not come up again for another 5 years.  


Clocktower Restoration

Old ClocktowerThe clocktower outside Brockwell Hall has long been a familiar landmark. It was installed in the jubilee year of Queen Victoria’s reign with Funds raised by Ernest Tritton the member of parliament who succeeded Thomas Bristowe. Unfortunately the funds from the lottery Clocktower at presentbid did not cover its restoration and has recently been covered with wooden shutters to protect it during the restoration works in the park. Never the less, its restoration has long been a priority project for the park community and there is currently a working group looking to raise funds to restore the clocktower to its former glory.


Ponds and Poppies

new pond channelPonds.  For those of you who enjoy a stroll around the ponds – I know that the recent changes have been really appreciated.  One difficulty over the rainy Christmas period was the pipe that fed the water through from pond 2 to pond 3.  This resulted in lots of flooding – however! the contractors took note and have returned to the site and now we have a new open channel which not only flows better but looks lovely. Also round the ponds, some of the first of the newly planted bedding is just coming into bloom.  We have periwinkles and primulas – and also the snowdrops that were planted by the volunteers two years ago.

last year's poppiesPoppies. Last year we had a suprise display of poppies in front of the One O’Clock Club – along the line of the new water pipe.  So many people complimented us on the poppies (which are pictured) that we put in an application to the Park Manager to do something similar this year.  He very kindly agreed and we wasted no time!  Theresa Hoare and myself mixed our flower seed with sand under the expert eye of Richard Jedrzejczak (who is putting in the hedge and took time out to rotivate our patch for us). Then we sowed the seed and it rained overnight which is good! so as you pass by the One O’Clock Club – keep an eye out for the seedlings. Susy Hogarth BPCP Secretary.

Dig the Park – Sunday 27th January 2013

bmx hedgeAnyone who wants to come along and enjoy a bit of free exercise in the green gym we call Brockwell Park, can come along this coming sunday at 11am to help us tidy up the fledgling  hedge by the BMX track, and also to tidy up the tree pits which are choked with weeds. Meet at 11am at the BMX track.  Soup and biccies provided.

Tools and gloves are provided so please just wear sensible shoes or boots as it may still be icy or wet.