For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Cuckfield CAKE walk, 5.5 miles

With above average temperatures for late October of 18C, 38 happy ramblers enjoyed this short walk lead by me - starting at the memorial to Gideon Mantell in Cuckfield.Click on any picture to expand it.

After walking through New England Wood we headed off, via the churchyard to the CAKE.

On the way we passed what looked like emerging Parasol fungi (which are delicious to eat) or what might be Freckled Dapperling (which are mildly poisonous). I have eaten both and don't recommend the latter. Caution is advised!

The above picture was taken on Friday 30th October, three days later.
The parasol shapes of what might be shaggy parasol mushrooms are emerging.
To eat or not to eat - that is the question.
A Dundee cake and a chocolate cake - skillfully cut - can feed 38 ramblers with some to spare!
Gloria is making a rapid recovery after her knee joint replacement surgery. Thank you Gloria for making the chocolate cake and for preparing all the drinks.

The walk from Cuckfield took us through Blunts Wood and Paiges meadow....
...and on to the beech woods to the north.
Thank you all for coming. If you are tempted to join us on future walks, click here for details of future Mid Sussex Ramblers' (MSR) events.

Don't miss the exciting SOLENT WAY, a 60 miles walk through history at the MSR AGM
with famous guest speaker.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Fungi & Other Wild Foods Walk in New England Wood

Simon Rowledge, WSCC Countryside Ranger for the High Weald based at Buchan Park,
lead a fascinating and highly enjoyable walk through New England Wood today.
Some of the fungi that Simon identified are shown below.
The event was organised by Cuckfield Local.
Click Cuckfield Local here for further information.
A Waxcap species in the pasture with accompanying fresh cowpat.
Click on any picture to expand it.
Click on any picture to expand it.
Turkeytail bracket fungus, Trametes versicolor
A Bolete species using a mirror to view the pores (or gills on other fungi)
without damaging the fungus in any way.
A root Puffball species

Simon demonstrated how a spark can ignite the King Alfred's cake fungus to start a fire.
Fly Agaric, Amonita muscaria

A brittlegill fungus, Russula sp.
Birch polypore, Piptoporus betulinus
Amethyst Deceiver, Laccaria amethysea
Sulphur Tuft
Porcelain fungus growing on dead Beech wood.
No fungi were picked for the pot, leaving this nature reserve intact.
Excessive picking of fungi elsewhere has, according to Simon, lead to a virtual
disappearance of once-common edible species. One of the benefits of this morning was that with so many eyes probing the undergrowth, many fungi were found that a single individual would miss.
Many thanks to Max from Cuckfield Local and to Simon for such an enjoyable event.

On Tuesday 27th October, I shall be leading a walk from the Mid Sussex Ramblers' programme
passing through New England Wood - cake in Cuckfield - Blunts Wood - Penland Farm - Gravelye Farm - Whiteman's Green.
We will hopefully see many fungi in these two lovely woods and in the fields.
No picking though folks without a land owner's consent.
Click the Mid Sussex Ramblers' site here for information on my Cuckfield Cake Walk
and others from our walks program.
Note also an illustrated talk that I shall be giving on
The Solent Way - a 60 miles stroll through history,
after the Mid Sussex Ramblers' AGM at 20.00hr on Wednesday 18 November in Haywards Heath Town Hall.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Tony's 8.5 miles walk on Ashdown Forest

When the weather forecast is for rain and more rain, a walk leader might hope that no sane person would choose to venture out in such inclement weather. No such luck for Tony.
Mid Sussex Ramblers turned out despite the rain, as you can see.

There were no Llamas in Christopher Robin's days.
We stopped for a pleasant picnic - in the rain - in the clump of pines at Gills Lap.
The scenery was fabulous; fabulously hidden by clouds!
It did stop raining for a bit - otherwise it was a bit like Eeyore's gloomy place.
Tony unfortunately suffered a painful ankle injury. He was persuaded to go to the pub
and William lead us across bog and moor in swirling clouds and rain.
It could have been Scotland it was that good!
We all wish Tony a speedy recovery and thank him for a lovely walk - except for the rain.
It was warm rain though - so quite okay.

Click on this picture for a better view of Eeyore.
He is the one on the right - never happier than when he is miserable!
Good old Eeyore some say!

Sunday 4 October 2009

Loder Valley, 7.5 miles circular

Click any picture to expand it.
Coffee stop with views as far as Chanctonbury hill.The Loder valley with herons and cormorants.
The weather was beautiful.
The sailors on Ardingly reservoir, above, would have welcomed a bit more wind.
For us walkers though, it was perfect.

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