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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Fungi, Lichen & Bryophytes at Tilgate Park and Tilgate Forest. 11.11.22

Tilgate Park I know quite well; it has marvellous collection of non-native trees, as well as native broadleaf tress. Tilgate Forest I had never previously visited. This 150ha site of mixed conifer and broadleaf woodland is managed by the Forestry Commission. Tilgate Forest, Crawley ( The Local Nature Reserve lies at the northeast corner of the golf course and comprises blocks of conifer and broad-leaved woodland plantation, together with an area of heathland and acid grassland underneath the line of pylons. Tilgate Forest Local Nature Reserve | Crawley GOV, this heath and acid grassland is typical of the High Weald sandstones and clay. Therefore, the diversity and abundance of fungi I saw, especially in Tilgate Park, may not be representative of typical high weald geology and geography.

Tilgate Forest is accessed by taking a foot bridge over the A23 at the south of Tilgate Park, see Circular Walk around Worthlodge Forest ( for directions.

All sections of text in italics are quotations, sources cited.

I am quite new to Fungi identification, so some of these IDs may be wrong. I have also included some fungi and mosses that I found interesting; again, the IDs may not be entirely correct.

I used these resources:

Stefan Buczacki, Chris Shields, Denys W Ovenden (2013) Collins Fungi Guide

Frank S Dobson (2018) Lichens: An illustrated guide to the British and Irish species

Ian Atherton, Sam Bosanquet, Mark Lawley (2019) Mosses and Liverworts of Britian and Ireland; a field guide

I have also used the Obsidentify App Mission -

and these websites:

The photographs are in the chronological order of my walk rather than in categories.

Tilgate Park

The lighter green area is Tilgate Forest, which stretches to the other side of the M23.

The non-naive trees in Tilgate park include (list from: PUB329484.pdf (

1 Formosan Cypress, Chamaecyparis formosensis. Originating from the island of Taiwan,

2 Roble Beech, Nothofagus obliqua . This unusual member of the Beech family is native to the southern Andes of Chile and Argentina.

3 Paper Bark Maple, Acer griseum. This small attractive tree is native to central China.

5 Cork Oak, Quercus suber . Originating in coastal regions of countries bordering the western Mediterranean Sea

6 Chinese Dogwood, Cornus kousa var. chinensis

7 Handkerchief Tree, Davidia involucrata Another tree native to China,

8 Chusan Palm, Trachycarpus fortunei. This hardy palm is native to parts of Asia including central China and southern Japan

9 Yellow Birch, Betula alleghaniensis. A native of North America,

10 Yellow-wood, Cladastris lutea. One of the rarest trees of the eastern United States

11 Keaki , Zelkkova serrata. Valued for timber in its native Japan,

12 Maple, Acer x dieckii. Cross between two European species, the Norway maple and Lopell’s maple.

13 Crab apple, Malus x scheideckeri. A hybrid between two East Asian species the Japanese Crab (M. floribunda) and Plum Leaved Crab (M.prunifolia),

14 Chinese Stewartia, Stewartia sinensis

15 Swamp Cypress, Taxodium distichum. Native to the south-east of the United States

16 Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga menzieslii. Native to Western North America,

17 Monkey puzzle, Araucaria araucana. The Monkey Puzzle is native to Argentina and Chile.

18 Canadian Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis

19 Japanese Red Cedar, Cryptomeria japonica

20 Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Only discovered in China in 1947

21 Spanish or Sweet Chestnut, Castanea sativa. The sweet chestnut is native to southern Europe

23 Wellingtonia or Giant Redwood , Sequioadendron giganteum. Wellingtonias are native to the Sierra Nevada mountains of California,

24 Apollo Fir, Abies cephalonica var. Apollinis. Native of Greece.

25 Coast Redwood, Sequioa sempervirens. Coast Redwoods are native to a narrow strip of the Pacific coast of North America from south-west Oregon into northern California.

26 Blue Atlas Cedar, Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’. Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco

27 Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipfera. Native to the North-east of America

28 Maidenhair Tree, Ginkgo biloba. Native to China

29 Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata. Native to small areas of the Californian and Mexican coast, t

Native trees include:

4 Sessile Oak, Quercus petraea. This superb tree, more commonly found in the North and West of the British Isles,

22 Horse Chestnut, Aesculis hippocastanum. This species has been savaged by pests and diseases since the late 20th Century. Leaf miner caterpillars and a bacterial disease called bleeding canker have caused the loss of many of these famous trees – well known to children as the source of conkers for the school playground. It is possible that this tree will disappear in time from our landscape.

30 English Oak, Quercus robur. One of the oldest trees in the park, at approximately 250 years old, this specimen has a crown spread of 40 metres! This suggests that the tree has been growing in open parkland for most of its life rather than in woodland which would restrict the growth of the crown. The English oak provides habitat for more species of invertebrates, birds, mammals, fungi and lichens than any other native tree and has been valued for centuries for its strong timber.

Possibly Alder Bracket, Mensularia radiata

To be identified, possibly Alder Scalycap, Pholiota alnicola

Sulphur Tuft, Hypholoma fasciculare

Probably Oak Mazegill, Daedalea quercina

Grey Squirrel

Fallen logs with False Turkeytail AKA Hairy Curtain Crust and Turkeytail

Turkeytail, Trametes versicolor; showing the variety of colours stated in its species name

Candlesnuff, Xylaria hypoxylon

Purple Jellydisc, Ascocoryne sarcoides

Oak Mazegill, Daedalea quercina

Mycena pseodcorticola; grows on moss on trees

Probably Artist's Fungus, Ganoderma applanatum

More Candlesnuff, Xylaria hypoxylon. Candlesnuff I have often observed growing in moss on dead wood; here the moss is Slender Beaked Moss, Kindbergia praelonga

Common Jellyspot, Dacrymyces stillatus

Grey Squirrel

Crystal Brain, Exidia nucleata, possibly with an orange fruiting body of a slime mould within it

Orange Ladybird, Halyzia sedecimguttata, in Cypress-leaved Plaitmoss, Hypnum cupresseforme. Orange Ladybirds eat fungus in moss; and hibernate in leaf litter. I saw several in flight in Tilgate Wood; if were not tor the abnormal heat they would probably have been hibernating. See Orange ladybird | The Wildlife Trusts

Probably, Yellowing Curtain Crust, Stereum subtomentosum

Possibly Phellinus pomaceus, or Phellinus pomaceus and Cypress-leaved Plaitmoss, Hypnum cupresseforme


Probably, Fox-tail Feathermoss, Thamnobryum alopecurum

Leaving Tilgate Park and going in to Tilgate Forest

Hairy Bracket, Trametes hirsuta

Grey Heron

Bank Haircap Moss, Polytrichum formosum

Birch Polypore, Fomitopsis betulina

Crossing the M23 on the footbridge into the larger part of Tilgate Forest

More Crystal Brain,Exidia nucleata

Birch Polypore again

Splitgill, Schizophyllum commune, growing on recently burnt wood

Possibly Deceiver, Laccaria laccata and another to be identified, possibly Toothed Jelly fungus, Pseudohydnum gelatinosum.

Possibly Deceiver, Laccaria laccata

Serpula himantioides

Coral Spot, Nectria cinnabarina

Probably, Grey Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus

Yellow Stagshorn, Calocera viscosa

ProbablyLiver Milkcap, Lactarius hepaticus

Probably Fairy Ring Mushroom, Marasmius oreades

Yellow Stagshorn, Calocera viscosa

The ghyll


Another gyhll

Mosses and lichens

On this trunk there are at least two lichens: Reindeer Lichen (looks like reindeer horns), Cladonia portentosa; and another Cladona species, possibly Grays Pixie Cups; Cladonia grayi and Broom Fork Moss, Dicranum scoparium; there were other mosses too which I can't identify!

Reindeer Lichen (looks like reindeer horns), Cladonia portentosa

Back in Tilgate Park; Egyptian Geese, Alopochen aegyptiaca, introduced

After struggling to survive Britain's cold winters for more than 300 years the Egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus, is undergoing a population explosion. Once confined to a small area of Norfolk the goose is now abundant across Greater London and surrounding counties and has been reported breeding in the West Country and as far north as the Humber.

A native of sub-tropical Africa the Egyptian goose was brought to Britain in the late 17th century as an ornamental bird for the lakes of country gentlemen. Its attraction is its apricot breast, white wing patch and the dark brown patches over its eyes that make it look as if it is wearing dark glasses.

Not surprisingly, being used to warmer weather, the goose found survival difficult not least because it was accustomed to breeding in January – a habit it has found hard to break – making the survival of its chicks unlikely. Another handicap is that it prefers to nest in large holes in trees, something not always easy to find near a suitable lake.

Forty years ago its numbers began to creep up and its breeding area expanded away from the Norfolk Broads to all of Norfolk. Fifteen years ago the population began rising far more rapidly and there are now thought to be 900 breeding pairs in Norfolk alone. London and Berkshire, along the Thames and in gravel pits, are now also strongholds and there is a new colony growing in the East Midlands.

This bird still nests in the winter before other geese and ducks have started breeding and has up to ten young. While this appearance of chicks so early makes them particularly vulnerable to hungry predators, the warmer weather of the last 20 years is thought to have improved their survival rate and to be the reason for the sudden jump in numbers. Specieswatch: Egyptian goose | Birds | The Guardian

Possibly Chicken of the woods, Laetiporus sulphureus. on an owl scupture



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