On Sunday 23rd October, Members (and guests) were treated to a day out in the quarries of Marford and Gresford, on the hunt for fungi, led by 'Kipper' Davies and his very obedient dog, Pup.
Before we even set off from Marford Quarry car park (just off Springfield Lane), Kipper was showing off a haul of fungi from an earlier trip. A common question throughout the day was, "Is that one edible?", and surprisingly, the answer was often "yes".
Our group of 15-or-so, dressed against the cold that seemed to have descended over the weekend, set off into Marford Quarry Nature Reserve. As a leading member of the North Wales Wildlife Trust, Kipper seemed to know every inch of the Reserve, and could point us in the right direction to find interesting fungi.
As we found something of interest, we would gather round Kipper as he told us all about it. The correct Latin name, the English equivalent, and--more importantly--whether or not it was edible or toxic! Each specimen was added to Kipper's basket for later.
What became clear very quickly is that, even in the relatively small area of the quarry, our countryside is home to a huge array of fungi. When you get your eye-in, the ground is dotted with tiny fungi, and the variety of size, colour and texture is really amazing.
Having wandered through the quarry for a couple of hours, finding maybe a dozen different types of fungi, and stopping to eat our packed lunches by the pond, we moved into Maes-y-Pant Quarry (Gresford).
Here, there seemed to be completely different types of fungi, including the "Plums and Custard" Mushroom, which turned out to be by-far the most common in the area, and the "Flaming Scalecap", which is fairly rare.
The second part of the day included a climb up to the Maes-y-Pant Meadow, just off Pant Lane. Whilst it was quite a pull up to the top, the view over to Chester and Hope Mountain meant the effort was well worth it.
By the time we reached the end of the trail, back at the Nature Reserve car park, we had accumulated quite a haul of fungi. Kipper took us through each species again, and even gave us a quick quiz... It's testament to Kipper's knowledge, and the easy way with which he imparted it to the group, that we were able to remember some of the names!
Hopefully, this is just the first of many forages for the Society, and the Members would like to thank Kipper (and Pup!) for an entertaining and thoroughly enlightening day out.
If you are interested in attending a forage in the future, please let us know via the Contact Form or in the comments section below, and we will try to arrange one for next year's calendar.