Fungi spotting in Exeter’s Valley Parks
Published: 6 October 2021
Now’s the perfect time to get out and go fungi spotting in Exeter’s beautiful Valley Parks.
As Autumn colours dominate Exeter’s skyline, October is a great month to see what’s out there and the city’s Valley Parks are a great place to spot the many varieties of fungi.
Exeter has more than 250 acres of public open space including six Valley Parks managed by Devon Wildlife Trust.
Stephen Hussey of Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “Autumn is the best time to look for fungi. The season’s moist and mild conditions see their fruiting bodies grow and push through the surface of our soils, decaying wood and so on. It’s these that we then discover in all their wonderfully different shapes and colours.
“Fungi are all around us, not just on the ground when we go for a walk, but living on surfaces everywhere, even in the air that we breathe,” he added.
Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for City Management said: “The Valley Parks are a great place to go and look for fungi. The Parks are there for everyone to enjoy and are just are just a short trip from our homes.
“I think they’re great to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and they offer a variety of leisurely walks, places to relax, fine views and plenty of wildlife,” he added.
People will find benches and picnic areas along the way, as well as dog bins. There are more challenging and hilly routes for some, as well as cycling routes for exploring greater distances.
The most important part of a fungus, the mycelium, lives underground and is vital for woodland health as they recycle nutrients needed for living plants to thrive. In autumn the fungi start to grow and as these fruiting bodies ripen their seeds, known as spores, are released into the air to start the next generation.
Getting out in the countryside has been proven to benefit mental health and the City Council is leading the way in social prescribing.
The six Valley Parks in Exeter are:
- Duryard & Belvidere
To find out more go to the Devon Wildlife Trust website