BAKEWELL: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s wide-ranging talks

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George Wolfe, secretary of Wye and Upper Derwent Group for the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, has arranged a range of talks which will run through to April 2014. They vary between local topics such as Deepdale Reserve run by Plantlife and the group’s own Wildlife Trust Reserve at Woodside to managing the Roaches in the west of the Peak District. Wildlife in faraway areas such as the Galapagos Islands and Yellowstone National Park is covered too and there is even a talk about everything to do with the oak.

The first talk is on the world of fungi, particularly the waxcap group, and will be given by trust member Rob Foster who has been carrying out fungi surveys for over the past 10 years. The waxcaps are mushroom-like fungi whose colours vary from red to pink to yellow to green. There are about 40 different species in the UK and they come up mostly on nutrient–poor pasture in the late summer and autumn. Because of this, most of the different species can be found locally in the Peak District on the unfertilised slopes of hill sheep farms, and the Upper Derwent Valley near Rob’s home is a good area to find them. Some are extremely rare as in much of the UK and Europe grassland has been ‘improved’ by ploughing up, reseeding and fertilising.

Rob’s talk will give a basic idea of how the different waxcaps can be identified from their appearance, smell and even taste. Also of how the number of waxcap species and other associated fungi can be used to evaluate the environmental importance of sites as waxcap grasslands.

The talk will be held on Monday, September 23, at 7.30pm at the Medway Centre, Bakewell and entry costs £2.50, including refreshments. All welcome.