Mushrooms may get far lower billing than birds and wildflowers, but there is a renaissance of interest in these beautiful, unique organisms. Parks and woodlands host spectacular mushrooms--and autumn is the best time to see them.
Mushrooms may not be at the front of most people's minds, but they offer wonderful colour, shape and interest. Especially at this time of year, as the summer flowers fade and autumn colours warm, they are an exciting part of the grounds to explore.
And once you start looking for them, they are everywhere!
Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes--from small purple amethyst deceivers, to delicious golden chanterelles, to iconic poisonous red fly agarics. With nearly 15,000 species of mushroom growing across the British Isles, there is an inexhaustible amount to learn and admire. A fair few species have sprung up across the grounds at Browsholme, which are hard not to notice.
We rarely have cause to bring our gaze down to ground level, but mushrooms draw our focus to the forest floor, on smaller details, and to an exciting part of life that is all always around us.
Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi, and carry their spores much like an apple carries the seeds of its tree. Neither plants nor animals, fungi are classified as their own kingdom, an entire group of organisms unlike all others.
They play one of the most important ecological roles: decomposition. They are also a key food source for many other species. This is one of the reasons that we're eager to protect our mycoflora.
In 2020, supported by the government's Woodland programme, we cleared huge amounts of Rhododendron ponticum, an invasive species that had taken over the pine plantation to the south of the Hall. Very little can grow under the dense Rhododendron but, since its removal, there are already signs of new life across the site--starting with mushrooms.
Wherever you're walking, you're likely to find them at the base of the large beech trees, in the grassy verges, and through pine plantations.
Please note we are now closed to the public until Summer 2022, however next year we are planning some exciting fungi workshops. Similarly, please admire and photograph, but do not pick mushrooms on the grounds - as the saying goes, 'don't try this at home!'.
Learn more about fungi and mushrooms: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/fabulous-fungi
Funghi Spotting at Browsholme
Oct 12, 2021
by Jacob and Lynne