3 November 2009

November surprises

On a very wet afternoon a friend and I walked around the recently cleared parts of Sedlescombe Heath south of the Wood Yard Entrance.

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There is now a rich assortment of fungi along the rides and a particularly attractive find was a few dotted-stemmed bolete (Boletus erythropus) along the ride through Great Brook Wood.  Kew's checklist of British basidiomycota says it is usually associated with oaks, but known with other deciduous trees such as birch, sweet chestnut and beech and occasionally with conifers such as Scot's pine.  This very much fits the bill for the place where they were found.

We walked back by the plot south of the orchard cleared in August/September of a dense stand of Norway spruce.  It was very gratifying to see many seedlings of heath groundsel (Senecio sylvestris) and sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) making a good showing on the bare ground.  We wondered if the seed had been there for years, or if it had blown in since the clearance.  The former I suspect.