Sunday 29 October 2017

CCG Fungus Foray at Giggleswick October 2017

 28 October 2017

Despite a forecast of fog and 40 mile an hours gusts, 13 of us turned up to the Craven Conservation Group foray including the leaders Jane and Archie. It was actually reasonably warm. The strong winds did not materialise so it was just another typical damp Craven day...

And a typical fun, action-full, informative, fascinating fantastic foray. Thanks again Jane and Archie!  We walked from  Giggleswick  up the footpath through the fields towards Giggleswick School chapel.

So what did we find.

First - Galerina atkinsoniana (formerly Galerina vittiformis subsp. atkinsoniana) recognisable by its hairy stipe

 Galerinas are small gingery fungi that grow amongst mosses

Galerina atkinsoniana

We found several waxcaps. This white one which does not have a smell is  the Snowy waxcap  formerly Hygrocybe virginea but now Cuphophyllus virgineus. (We had earlier found Hygrocybe russocoriacea which is whitish -slightly brownish but has a smell of  cedar shavings)

Snowy Waxcap 


We found three examples of Hymenoscyphus. This is a tiny Ascomycete (cup fungus)

First we noticed the Ash Dieback near Settle HighSchool
That used to be called Chalara but now it is called Hymenoscyphus fraxinius.

Then we found this Hymenoscyphus sp on a pine cone. The head is about 1mm across

 Here is a view from the side. See the moss for comparison

The third one was on a dead (deciduous tree) log, along with some purple Ascocoryne sarcoides (Purple Jellydisc fungus)

Ascocoryne sarcoides

The stones on the walls of the fields were covered with the filamentous alga  Klebsormidium crenulatum. The very wet October has enabled this alga to continue growing.

Or maybe it is because there is EVEN more NOx in the air - or because this field has had lots of fertilizer applied.  Or all three.

If we peep over the Klebsormidium covered wall we see the Chapel

Here is an old Yellow Fieldcap - Bolbitius titubans (formerly vitellinus)

and here is a younger one

There was a big old Ash tree. "A bough had fallen off and bent the gate in the past" said Robert. The trunk was hollow.
Inside was Ganoderma australe - Artists' fungus. 

 This is a section of the cap but upside down.  The "flesh" part of the cap is thicker than the gills, making it australe,  (rather than G applanatum) and the edge of the cap is obtuse not acute. 

I also found this lichen on the bark of the old Ash trunk

On the slope by the cricket pitch were some Clouded Agarics or Cluded funnelcaps Clitocybe nebularis

And a beautiful tiny inkcap called Parasola

 Once the black spores are shed only the edge of the cap is dark

Beside the footpath parallel to the very steep tarmac road down to Giggleswick there was a mossy edge to the path with lots of Marchantia

And growing in the Marchantia was this bright orange Omphalina type fungus which may well be Rickenella fibula, though the larges one was over 2cm across.

Archie took this with him next day when he was visiting Roy Watling in Edinbugh. and Roy recognised it as Loreleia postii  (Formerly Omphalina postii)- which grows on Marchantia Liverwort.  Distribution Map
It is similar to Loreleia marchantiae which was spotted by Bryologist Sam Bosanquet on Twitter two weeks later in Wales.
People who came included
Diana, Geoff, Robert Starling, Julie, Ken, Jo, Christine, Maureen,Doris, Paula, myself, Jane, Archie.
We did not know it then, but this was Robert's last trip out with CCG
Jane and Archie have now sent me an updated list. I can send it to people if they ask.

Welcome to future CCG meetings.

Saturday 21 October 2017

Settle Coffee Morning for Green Christian Rainforest Fund:- Tue 5 Dec

Coffee Morning for Green Christian Rainforest Fund:- 10am-midday
This will be the Tenth Year!!.
St John's Church BD24 9JH
See pictures of previous events:



Wednesday 18 October 2017

Lambeth Palace and the Church Times Green Church Awards

Come with me to Lambeth Palace, London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It's 16th October 2017 and I and my friend Poppy are going to the Church Times Green Church Awards as I had been shortlisted for one

Lambeth Palace is on the opposite side of the Thames to  Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. 

I am standing on Vauxhall Bridge, looking north, downstream, having taken the Victoria Line Tube to Vauxhall Station . You can see the wall of the gardens on the right.  

It is warm and sunny with clear skies at 10am.  Little do I know that by 2pm the sky will be orange brown with dust from the Sahara and from Portuguese fires brought by the remains of Storm Ophelia.

I had come down by train via Lancaster yesterday evening and stayed at St Pancras Youth Hostel.

We enter through Morton's Tower and once inside the grounds have a view of the palace, past 500 year old fig trees on the left, with huge leaves. Ahead you can see the door of the palace.

(Judith) standing on the doorstop of the palace,
complete with rucksack and trainers. I (along with four others) had been shortlisted for the Green Champion award

Old fig trees

We have coffee and meet a host of guests.. I am pleased to recognise a good number of old friends

We assemble for the awards ceremony. I'll write about that later
I walk round the garden twice. - Once quickly with Brother Hugh (of Hilfield Friary) before the meal, and once leisurely afterwards, taking photographs.

There is a herb garden. We crush some leaves and smell them  -  musing over the possible names of the plants, along with a gentleman from Hymns Ancient & Modern.  Later I met Sabina the gardener who tell me their names. She is one of the three paid gardeners, but they also have 20 volunteers. They are trying to add plants that would have been cultivated here when the monks looked after the gardens long ago.  The garden at Lambeth Palace has been a private garden since the 12th century - and it's the oldest continuously cultivated garden in London...

Not Lavendar, not Curry plant - but Santolina.

This plant above with a strong smell when crushed is  Santolina (chamaecyparissus?) - Sometimes known as Cotton Lavender- from the Mediterranean. It is related to Chamomile.  It likes dry sandy soil . (From Wikipedia: "It is  a small  evergreen  shrub  growing  to  50 cm (20 in)  tall  and  broad.  Densely covered in narrow, aromatic, grey-green leaves, in summer it produces masses of yellow, button-like composite flower heads, held on slender stems above the foliage. The disc florets are tubular, and there are no ray florets.")

There is also a variety/species of Santolina with bright green leaves.

Below is "Curry Plant" Helichrysum italicum, another member of the Daisy family. and below that, Hyssop

Sabina shows me Hyssop  Hyssopus officianlis
It is used for many things - antiseptic - medicinal. It has blue flowers and is a member of the mint tribe, in the Labiate family.

The hyssop mentioned in the bible is much more likely to be the caper plant ezov   (or it could even be, possibly, wild marjoram)
As a non-Londoner I am intrigued by the fruit of the London Plane, Platanus acerifolia.

Wikipedia (Oct 2017) says:- The species was formed by hybridization in the 17th century after P. orientalis and P. occidentalis had been planted in proximity to one another. It is often claimed that the hybridization took place in Spain, but it could also have happened in Vauxhall Gardens  in London where John Tradescant the  Younger  discovered the tree in the mid-17th century.[4][5]
 P. orientalis: The native range is Eurasia from the Balkans to at least as far east as Iran, maybe even to the Himalayas
P. occidentalis - American Sycamore - in America. More about the three species here.

See history in London here  The leaves remove pollutants from the air.



It wouldn't be one of my web posts if I couldn't bring lichens in somehow.. 

I had to look VERY hard to find any on the trees - trunks or branches.  Below is some Phaeophyscia orbicularis on a maple trunk. Elsewhere I saw a little sad looking Xanthoria parietina  and a little Hyperphyscia adglutinata- All of these are lichens that grow where there is deposition of nitrogen compounds from the air. The car fumes in central London are concentrated.
Well they do say that 10,000 people die each year in London due to air pollution.. (much of it NO2 and diesel particles from the traffic). 
Actually it is on the twigs that we should start to hope to find more lichens  now that we are no longer producing smoke and sulphur dioxide from coal fires. - the bark of old trunks have absorbed so much soot and acid from sulphur dioxide in the past that it is difficult for young lichens to get going..
(There were also some lichens on the stone and cement work.)

Read more about lichens .. at  St James Park - just 6 days ago . less than 1km away, .. 1/2 mile away as the pigeon flies. 
And see the proposal to make London into a City National Park - 47% percent of London is actually green- though the map shows it is more in the suburbs than at the centre.

Phaeophyscia orbicularis (very tiny - it is an enlarged picture)

Wildlife:  Can you see the squirrel at the bottom right of the picture below, sitting up on its back legs?

Here it is with the picture enlarged

When I approach, it runs up the tree.

At the far end of the garden is a big, big hole.. Builders have been very busy digging. "Must be for a pond," Hugh and I knowledgeably decide. 

Totally wrong. We are not very observant. Sabina tells me later that there are plans to build a new library for the palace here - but first the archaeologists have been excavating.  They have found loom weights used for holding down the warp  when weaving.

Near the netting was this plant - 

Ah, at last, a presumably wild plant.. Certainly one that has been growing in this country for 1000s of years.  Black Nightshade  Solanum nigrum- It can be poisonous, but it also had medicinal and herbal uses.

Bee Hives

One plant benefitting from the strange orange light


Listen to 4 min clip of Bishop Nick Holtam on Radio 4 Sunday Worship 3 Sept 2017 that was based on The Garden at Lambeth Palace - "Reinventing Eden"

Oh yes, and the reason we're here..

Using the steps for our photo:-

Celebrating Care of Creation Activities .. on the steps of the Palace

It's the Church Times Green Church Awards Ceremony on 16 Oct 2017 with Bishop Nick Holtam of Salisbury in the centre

By highlighting some of the best projects, the paper hopes to set good examples before others who might be inspired to follow suit.
Short listed groups and winners - photo credit: KT Bruce / Church Times

Find out what the groups did at the Church Times

In the end they split the Green Champions Award between the five of us shortlisted people so we all won one. Thank You!!!!

 Here are Posts from other short listed and winning groups and people: (To be added to)
Seed of Hope -Taunton: mental health & gardening - green futures category

Steps to Greenness at Lambeth Palace Garden

16 October 2017  (This follows on from the main Lambeth Palace Garden Blog post)
(This post may get slightly extended. The Church Times, ten years after its first set of awards, had organised the Church Times Green Church Awards, and had invited the shortlisted church groups and people to the presentation ceremony at Lambeth Palace on 16 October. I had been shortlisted, along with four other people for the Green Champion award. There were also four other categories for church groups)

Step in

Step up

Step out - Steps for toads and other wildlife to leave the pond.

A single step - a swing..

Steps - under the orange sky of 16 October, as Storm Ophelia brings dust from the Sahara and from fires in Portugal across Britain... and it starts to get darker and darker...

Bishop Holtam's talk preceded the arrival of the orange clouds by two hours:- 
"Any particular storm cannot be blamed on human made global warming, but the increased incidence of intense weather events is almost certainly caused by human activity consuming fossil fuels laid down that took millions of years to lay down in the ground .. to release energy into a finely balanced environment that has supported and sustained our lives."

Houses of Parliament in the distance.

Steps for mounting your horse.

Step to leave

Oh yes, and the reason we're here..

Using the steps for our photo:-

Celebrating Care of Creation Activities .. on the steps of the Palace

It's the Church Times Green Church Awards Ceremony 
on 16 Oct 2017 
with Bishop Nick Holtam of Salisbury in the centre
Short listed groups and winners - photo credit: KT Bruce / Church Times
Find out what the groups did at the Church Times

  See my much longer blogpost on Lambeth Garden