Free Bee Workshop Sunday 29th June

BeeOur popular bee workshop returns to Brockwell Park at 2pm on Sunday 29th June.

The free event is open to all and covers the different types of bees and their importance to the environment.

The event starts at 2pm, Brockwell Hall (the mansion house) and will include a visit to locations in the Park which are populated by bees. The event is expected to end at 5pm. To make a donation to park events, click here.

Volunteers urgently required for gardening project Thursday 15th May 2014

VolunteerDo you like gardening?

Are you available to volunteer at 10am on Thursday 15th May 2014?

The project: rotivation and preparation of the Norwood Lodge garden, 54 Brockwell Park Gardens. SE24 9BJ to create a river of poppies in commemoration of The First World War. To get involved, email Susy Hogarth, BPCP Secretary:

Brockwell Park’s poppy installations to commemorate the First World War

New LeafThis week saw the work begin on our first stage of our First World War living installations, at Norwood Lodge.

New Leaf’s Vinnie O’Connell – who is overseeing the project work – told us:

The furrows that we are digging represent the tank tracks that marked the fields that the poppies thrived in during the First World War.

And the pea shingle, that we have applied liberally, represents a tiny stone for each life lost on those fields.

Vinnie also recounted to us that when he told a passer by about the representation, she asked him to give her a piece of the pea shingle so that she could take it home and put it on her mantelpiece in memory of her grandfather who died in the first world war.

This perfectly represents what we hope our living memorial will achieve. There will be further beds of flanders poppies at the Herne Hill Gate and at the Tulse Hill Gate.

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.