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Martin Chester (October)

The heather has passed it's glorious purple best, the hills have faded to golden russets, and Autumn is well and truly upon us. It's mushroom season here in the hills of North Wales. Fungi of all shapes, sizes, and varieties are poking their heads out to meet the first chills of October. This little cluster was one of the best of many examples in Cwm Idwal yesterday. They are an interesting consequence of a change in grazing in the cwm.

As you may be able to tell, this cluster is growing nicely out of a cow-pat! We have seen an increase of the number of cattle grazing in the cwm over the past few months. This is part of a deliberate plan to favour cattle over their more destructive four legged friends - sheep. Interesting then, to witness a specific increase of the bio-diversity in this area - straight from the cow's . . . .

I have to admit to being a bit curious though! Where do the spores of the fungi come from - are they airborne, or something eaten by the cattle?

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