Friday, 9 November 2012

Autumn at Knettishall Heath

The reserve:

Autumn has been a spectacular month at the Heath with it's diverse wealth of habitats and species adapting to the new season. The Heather has finished flowering with it's splash of colour only to be replaced by the coppers and gold's of the Silver Birch, Bracken, Beech and finally the Oaks, in stark contrast against the dark Pine.

Our resident birds such as Tits, Finches and Thrushes have begun mixing in large flocks for the Winter, moving around the reserve like marauding groups targeting the Hawthorn berries. Whilst Winter visitors such as the Redwing and Fieldfare bring news of the colder weather to come, although perhaps not so cold as 50 years ago. Many of our summer migrants; Blackcap and Swift, were still being recorded fairly recently in the area, and many warblers now choose to brave our warmer Winters than in years passed.

Damp foggy mornings and more regular down pours at the beginning of October meant good news for Fungi experts as the fruiting bodies of Knettishalls fungi began to pop up all over the reserve, just in time for Autumn Antics day on Sunday 7th October.

Autumn Events at Knettishall

'Autumn Antics' was a fantastic expert lead fungi foray paired with a family session hunting for signs of autumn, and the reserve certainly didn't fail us. A total of 47 species of fungi were found and identified in just over 2 hours including the following; Fly Agaric, Clubfoot, Toughshanks and Milkcaps, Blushing Bracket, False Chanterelle, Radish Bonnet, Sulphur Knight, Golden Spindles, Jelly Ear, Beech Woodwart, Ugly Milkcap, Petticoat Mottlegill, Slippery Jack, Turkey Tail and Bay Boletus.

Parasol Fungi before it opens out; one of our largest species

The large cluster in the middle is; Fluted Bird's Nest Fungi 
Amethyst Deceiver

Identifying fungus growing on dead wood

To round off Autumn with a bang Knettishall hosted it's very own 'Halloween at the Heath', a day packed with family activities and trails. Over 30 families braved the spooky blindfold trail and had a go at lantern making, apple carving and potion making in the afternoon sun!

The spooky woodland at Halloween at the Heath

As part of the Trust's first year at the reserve we are learning what is popular with the local community, and both these seasonal events will certainly be repeated next year! To find out more, or for the full list of fungi with common and latin names, or to be added to the mailing list for reserve and events updates please contact Samantha Gay, People and Wildlife Ranger at

No comments:

Post a Comment