Introduction

Wild Time

Spring

Feel the beat of spring

Be dazzled by bluebells

Harken to a bittern's boom

Seek a swooping sand martin

Pen poetry among daffodils

Sway with dancing grebes

Get sent packing by a grouse

Take a ringside seat

Track down a tiger

Watch a rare sky dance

Chatter with a natterjack

Enjoy the great rush north

Look up in awe

Shine a light on newts

Eavesdrop on a nightingale

Go spotting early orchids

Follow a sat-tagged osprey

Gape at hunting hobbies

Nurse a passion for purple

Scour riverbanks for Ratty

Tip-toe among fritillaries

Summer

Hail the success of avocets

Go batty as night falls

Bewitched by a buttercup

Play the summertime blues

Thrill to damsels and dragonflies

Go after Dartford warbler

Make a splash with gannets

Stake out a badger sett

Hurrah for the king

Rejoice in Manxie's chorus

Delight in a glow worm

Fall for THE fastest bird

Be spellbound by orchids

Journey to a seabird city

Exalt at a skylark's song

Party with the puffins

Lounge with a lizard

Haunt a churring nightjar

Head seawards on safari

Discover the rare spoonbill

Join the toadlet exodus

Spot our largest butterfly

Wear a hat for terns

Hunt woodland beauties

Autumn

Admire our eager beavers

Marvel at migration

Forage for Autumn's bounty

Go nuts over squirrel nutkin

Ramble through purple

Gaze in awe at reds' rut

Wander in the wild wood

Cheer on the salmon run

Try a wild goose chase

Foray for fungi

Winter

Pay homage to the Russians

Go on a winter ghost hunt

Wonder at wintering waders

Fall in love with a seal pup

Hear Britain's tallest bird

Revel in roosting wagtails

Kiss beneath mistletoe

'Ooh' & 'aah' at murmurations

Lie in wait for an otter

Rock 'n' roll with geology

Wrap up for a raptor roost

Foray for fungi

Fly agaric © Scott Petrek

Explore the magical kingdom of mushrooms and toadstools.

Mushrooms and toadstools, brackets and puffballs, rusts and moulds. Fungi are everywhere.

With more than 15,000 species believed to occur in the United Kingdom (that’s five times as many species as there are vascular plants), they make up an entire kingdom of their own: separate from both plants and animals.

Their diversity is stupendous. Every habitat is home to a great variety of fungi, many with wonderful names. Chicken of the woods and King Alfred’s cakes, pink ballerinas and scarlet elf cups, blewits and boletes. As well as many delicious wild mushrooms, fungi also include some of our most poisonous species, aptly named species such as the sickener, poison pie, death cap and the destroying angel.

Autumn is the best time to explore this little-visited world: you may well be surprised just how many species you come across!

How to do it

If you can’t get to the special places listed below... Fungi grow in every habitat, and you certainly don’t need to go to a nature reserve to find your first toadstools: there will more than likely be several species in your garden. Encourage fungi to grow by leaving logs and branches to rot and wait to see what arrives. You’ll end up helping beetles too!

Special spots

Slimy, but colourful, beautiful waxcap fungi adorn grasslands each autumn at Burfa Bog near Presteigne, Powys. Around 20 species of this group of fungi have been recorded here, making it one of the most important places in Europe for this fascinating group of organisms.

Antrim, Slievenacloy

Cumbria

Devon,   Halsdon

Powys,   Pwll y Wrach

Powys, Dolforwyn Woods

Suffolk, Knettishall Heath

Surrey,  Sheepleas

Worcestershire, Monkwood

Yorkshire, Grass Wood

Waxcap © Philip Precey

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