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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

24.10.22/1. Birds, Wildflowers, Fungi and a Bumblebee, Friston Forest.

I decided to walk though Friston Forest to see what Fungi were fruiting, as the autumn is one of the best times to see fruiting fungi; and Friston Forest (see Friston Forest | Forestry England) is a beech forest, which are typically good places to see fungi. I also planned to walk up to Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve, to look for fungi there too. This post covers Friston Forest; my photographs of Lullington Heath are in a separate post, 24.10.22/2. A Crimson-Speckled Moth & Fungi, Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve. (

I reached Friston Forest from my home in Brighton on the bus. I took a 12X and got off at the Seven Sisters Country Park Visitor Centre at Cuckmere Haven (stopped called Seven Sisters Park Centre); the visitors centre is on the southern edge of the forest. In the week the 12 terminates at Seaford Library, before the Seven Sisters Country Park stop; so it is necessary to get the 12X or 12A; the 12X is a quicker route as it is a limited stop service; see 12 - Eastbourne-Brighton | Brighton & Hove Buses

I walked from the Seven Sisters County Park visitors centre, through the forest to the village of West Dean, and then through the forest along the South Downs Way, until I reached the bottom of Charleston Bottom (chalk grassland combe), then I walked up Charleston Bottom back into Friston Forest. All the photos are in the chronological order of my walk.

The identifications I have made of these fungi may be wrong! I am very new to fungi identification. I have used Buczacki, Shields & Ovenden (2012) Collins Fungi Guide Collins Fungi Guide : The Most Complete Field Guide to the Mushrooms & Toadstools of Britain & Ireland: Stefan Buczacki: 9780007466481: I have also just become an associate member of the British Mycological Society to help develop my fungi knowledge Home :: British Mycological Society ( This post is a work in progress: some of the fungi are marked "not yet identified"; I will update this post when I have identified them.

I was amazed to see so many wildflowers in bloom at the end of October. e.g. Heal-All, Prunella vulgaris; Wild Basil, Clinopodium vulgare; Viper's-Bugloss, Echium vulgare; Red Clover, Trifolium pratense and Common Knapweed, Centaurea nigra. All of these typically stop flowering in September. This atypically warm October is the probably a result of global warming.

From Exceat to Charlston Bottom, through Friston Forest

Probably Xylaria genus flask fungus species, possibly Xylaria polymorphia

Probably a species of the Hemimycena genus (Bonnets)


A view through the forest

Probably Fairy Incap, Copinellus disseminatus

Red Admiral

Not yet identified

Probably Trametes versicolor; Turkeytail

Not yet identified

Probably Turkeytails, Trametes versicolor; below probably Candlesnuff fungus, Xylaria hypoxylon

Possibly Hen of the Woods, Grifola frondosa

Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum. There were quite a few around.

Charleston Bottom

Not yet identified

Not yet identified

Not yet identified

A type of resupinate fungi, not yet identified

Male Stonechat. have seen more Stonechats on the South Downs this autumn than I have ever seen before; they have had a very good year.

Not yet identified

A Boletales order fungi, Boletes order

Sheep munching grass

Not yet identified

Sheep, Charleston Bottom

Probably a waxcap, not yet identified

Friston Forest from Charleston Bottom

Robin, Erithacus rubecula

Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta

Possibly a Mottlegill Panaeolus genus toadstall

Moth, not yet identified

Ragwort. There were wildflowers in bloom that I would not expect to see in flower in late October; but it has been the most unusually warm October, probably as a result of global warming.

Not yet identified

Where Friston Forest restarts west of Charleston Bottom

Desiccated Rosebay Willowherb

Possibly a chanterelle fungi

A queen Garden Bumblebee

Wild Basil, Clinopodium vulgare

Vipers Bluglos, Echium vulgare

Not yet identified

Heal All, Prunella vulgaris

Common Knapweed, Centaurea nigra

Red Clover, Trifolium pratense.

Great Tit, Parus major, and Long-Tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus

Long-Tailed Tit

The gate to the path to Lullington Heath; my shoes and socks got very wet!



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