The 2021 season

The earlier sessions last season were quite productive, the latter ones less so. This was because of low rainfall rather than cold, though some mushrooms did show frost damage. However, we decided that in 2022 we would make our afternoon collections start at and end earlier as low light levels had proved to be a problem on the later sessions.

The most collected mushrooms in 2021 were the Deceivers, both Laecaria laccata and Laecaria amethystea. We also found Meadow Wax Caps, Hygrocybe pratensis, some of them very large. Boletus species and Russulas were less common than in previous years, though we did find some CharcoalBurners, Russula cyanoxantha, and some Common Yellow Russulas, Russula ochroleuca.

Trooping Funnel, Clitocybe geotropa, was also found, though it finished early in the season.

In terms of plants, it was a good year for Cherry Plum, Prunus cerasifera and Sloes, Prunus spinosa. We used some of the sloes to make Sloe Gin and Sloe Vodka, which will be ready for the 2022 season. As for green plant food, Sorrel, Rumex acetosa, was as plentiful as ever and Hogweed, Heracleum sphondylium, was found much later in the season as a result of regrowth after cutting earlier in the year. Normally only the drying seed heads can be found in the autumn, so it was good to be able to show the plant in flower and the edible shoots.

Peter Sibley