Friends of Troopers Hill
Mushrooms and Toadstools
Leave fungi for others to see - There are a wide range of fungi on Troopers Hill, few are edible, several are toxic.
Always take expert advice before eating wild fungi.
Surveying the wildlife on Troopers Hill is an important part of the work we do to ensure the nature reserve is properly managed.
Fungi are an important part of the web of wildlife on the Hill. Most are small only a few of each species fruit at any one time - you need to look closely to find them.
Regular surveys and public 'Fungi Forays' have taken place on the Hill since 2005. The first fungi forays on Troopers Hill were led by Justin Smith; since 2015 John and Doreen Bailey from the North Somerset and Bristol Fungus Group have continued Justin's work.
Fungi have also been recorded in ad hoc surveys. In 2009 by way of a change Justin led a Lichens, mosses and liverworts walk.
Lists of fungi found and links to photographs of the public events can be found below.
It was with very great sadness that we learned in March 2014 that Justin Smith had passed away from a suspected heart attack. Justin was a great friend of Troopers Hill; he is greatly missed especially by his wife, Lucy, and his young son.
You can hear Justin talking about fungi and lichens as part of our Audio Trail; see our Troopers Trails page
Lucy has set up the Justin Smith Foundation in memory of Justin and to help continue his work, we are pleased that John & Doreen's fees for our foray's are being donated to the foundation.
On the day that Justin had been due to carry our 2014 foray and survey, Susan took some photos of the fungi on the Hill that can be seen via the link above.
These surveys show the importance of the grassland on Troopers Hill. In his 2013 report Justin said:
"We were rewarded with nice examples of waxcap fungi (Hygrocybe sp),
including the edible Hygrocybe pratensis, lots of Hygrocybe conica, and
some slimy examples of Hygrocybe laeta, an acid soil loving species.
Waxcaps are often used as monitors of habitat quality for unimproved
grasslands. More than 10 species in a single visit indicates a site of
moderate quality in nature conservation terms, while a total of over 18
species for a site overall, indicates an important grassland site for fungi,
worthy of SSSI status."
The results of the surveys, including the full list species found, can be downloaded below, there are also links to photographs of each event.
The photo above shows some of those taken to be indentified under a microscope in 2019.
All the fungi pictured below were found on a short walk on Troopers Hill on Sunday 24th October 2004 at around mid-day.
It was these finds that inspired us to ask Justin to join us for the first of his fungi forays the following year.
These were seen on 14th January 2007.
and these on 23rd February 2007.