Sunday, 26 October 2014

Wildlife Wanderings in Clare Wood on 25th October 2014

By Jade Cawthray (posted by Anna on Jade's behalf)

Wildlife wanderings is a simple project to encourage Cambridge residents to get to know their green spaces that little bit better.  Once a month we meet at a different nature reserve, wildlife site or green space and take a wander together to see what plants and animals are living there.

We were granted the most beautiful autumn day on Saturday, and 14 of us gathered together, along with two children, to walk along Hobson’s Conduit and into Clare Wood. These, along with Bentley Road Paddocks and Empty Common allotments and community garden, make up a wildlife corridor to connect the south Cambridgeshire countryside with the urban ecosystem of the city.  This corridor is being carefully managed and monitored by the council the local wildlife trust and a couple of local businesses to improve it for our wild city neighbours. 

Whilst management of the area hopes to encourage water voles to set up residence and improve the hunting habitat for bats which are known to roost in the area, there are already tawny owls, kingfishers, common toads and grass snakes around the site.

With this being an autumn wandering we were keeping our eye out for fungi, and managed to find a few.  

We decided this was turkey tail Trametes versicolor a common woodland fungi found on rotting stumps and fallen trunks.

We also discovered that it is relatively tricky to match a fungi in the field with fungi in a guide, but we had a good try.

We found this clustered in a group around a decaying tree stump, and we believe it to be the glistening inkcap, Coprinus micaceus, which is described as having egg shaped caps that appear to be pleated, the under side of the gills turning inky black with age and the brittle stem pale in contrast to the cap.

Maybe one of the most surprising things we found in the field connecting our walk to Long Road, was three, yes three, four-leaved clovers.  I couldn’t quite believe it, I had never seen one, never mind three all sat together, and they were big leaves as well.

Here’s the evidence, three four-leaved clovers.  You have to see it to believe it.

As we got closer to Long Road, we divided, with some of our party venturing beyond Long Road with the thought of a good pint over in Grantchester on their minds, whilst the rest of us turned back towards the city, and enjoyed late afternoon sunlight, yellowy orange, beaming through the trees.

A wonderful walk, with wonderful company and some fab fungi.

If you fancy coming along to one of our Wildlife Wanderings our next venture will be at 2.30pm on Saturday 22nd November – location to be confirmed (it will be announced on the Transition Cambridge web-site).

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