Monthly Archives: February 2013

Rough Hey Wood – Ryburn Valley – today.

On birch. It’s very similar to Birch Polypore Piptosporus betulinus, but  inflated, as the expanding gap-filling foam expands and hardens. My knife shows the size. Also seen as big as tea-cakes at Ogden.
Working name I’m refering to it by – “Inflated Pipto.” 

The usual form of P.betulinus, but a particularly big one – about 38cm across (15 inches).

2013-02-25T00:18:00+00:00February 25th, 2013|0 Comments

Crocus Sweep Today

The Crocus in question is the Autumn Crocus Crocus nudiflorus. Spring is a good time to search for the patches, as the leaves that come up then are often more prominent than the blooms. Calderdale is particularly well endowed with it, though it is still elusive. This is a patch of leaves that hasn’t produced a bloom in autumn in the three years since I found it. It’s on the edge of the Ryburn stream, on the left bank, 69 paces down from the footbridge at Kebroyd. The leaves are grass-like, but have a pale central stripe. 
I’ve produced a booklet for the Halifax Scientific Society  – “The Mystery of the Autumn Crocus”.

Old farmsteads around Calderdale often bear long-lapsed invitations to “Teas”, often on the stone slab roof, but I’ve not noticed this one before on a rock by the footbridge at Kebroyd. Looks like there was an arrow underneath the sign.

This Red Fox was hunting in a field, where it might have found worms or small mammals, but it didn’t seem to eat anything. It was midday ! Must get a proper camera with manual focus.

The next two are of Rough Hey Wood, near the old railway track to Ripponden/ Rishworth.
They show how holly Ilex aquifolium is colonising rapidly under the oaks Quercus petraea and sycamores Acer pseudoplatanus, as can also be seen in Park Wood, Elland and other places. I think this is just re- balancing of the normal situation, where holly makes a secondary layer. Being evergreen, it can get the sun’s energy before the deciduous trees leaf out.
It was probably removed centuries ago to feed stock in winter (they eat it when it’s crushed) and to create “greenwoods” where grass was the ground cover, which was grazed. Ref. the title of the poem “Under Milk Wood”. Greenwood as a surname was originally confined to Calderdale.

 For fungi seen on the walk see the Calderdale Fungi blog.
2013-02-24T23:50:00+00:00February 24th, 2013|0 Comments

Help please

Can anyone recomend a book / map or is there a web site for the Calderdale way..and if any one has done it how long does it take…

2013-02-24T11:16:00+00:00February 24th, 2013|0 Comments

Species Updates

Chris Sutcliffe, Calderdale Council’s area countryside officer is currently updating species lists of all flora and fauna recorded at the sites listed below.
Ogden Water

Any info on any species in any of the following areas would be very helpful in shaping future management.

Beacon Hill
Beechwood Park
Cunnery Wood
Long & Scarr Woods
Mixenden/Wheatley Valley
Shelf Hall Wood
Snake Hill
Sun Wood, Shelf

Chris would be grateful for any information received.  A simple species only list will be good, but if you can supply dates as well, then that would be a real bonus.
Many thanks
Chris Sutcliffe
Area Countryside Officer
Calderdale Countryside Service
Communities Directorate
2013-02-22T15:39:00+00:00February 22nd, 2013|0 Comments

Birch Jelly Fungus (Exidia repanda)

Recorded at Broadhead Clough on 14-02-13. Many thanks to Nick Aplin for the identification. He reports that this species is greatly under-recorded in his opinion, with only forty UK records, he thinks this is due to the fact that it doesn’t feature in much of the popular literature.

2013-02-21T22:08:00+00:00February 21st, 2013|0 Comments

Roe Deer dung fungus (updates 24-02-13)

I collected some Roe Deer dung on the 29-01-13. I placed them on damp kitchen paper, on a plate and covered them with a glass bowl, supported by pencils to let them breathe……and waited. On the 19-02-13 I had these results. The general consensus is that they are a Coprophilous species, they will be sent for identification as soon as possible.





If you look at the central pellet, there are tiny hair like projections. These are living nematodes which are wriggling around in the dung, which leads me to believe I am rearing a species of carnivorous fungi, also know as Nematophagous fungi that trap, kill and digest nematodes. There are approximately 200 different species. They trap the nematodes on vegetative hyphae or in specialised traps, such as constriction rings (examples are on this site  I shall know more later this week after I have received a positive identification, and update you all again asap.

Photo courtesy of
Here you can see the constriction ring around the nematode.
2013-02-21T21:27:00+00:00February 21st, 2013|0 Comments

Ancient woodland may have lost out

In this blog from the Woodland Trust, it seems in the Government’s response to the Forestry Report, Ancient Woodland is not to be allowed to stand in the way of development.

“The areas of investment will be research in mitigation and compensation….

It’s like Wilfrid Pickles in “Have a Go”,  ‘Give him the money Mabel’  (Only people of a certain age will understand this reference.)

2013-02-18T21:26:00+00:00February 18th, 2013|0 Comments

First Butterfly

Things must be stirring;  Tortoiseshell butterfly flew onto our picnic table today at Sunnybank, Todmorden and basked in the sun.

2013-02-18T18:10:00+00:00February 18th, 2013|0 Comments
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