Birmingham Natural History Society: Mycology Section
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The Mycological Section of the Birmingham Natural History Society is affiliated to the British Mycological Society. It is an active group of enthusiastic amateurs and professionals, who arrange regular forays, identify finds, and keep accurate records. Newcomers, whether beginners or experienced mycologists, are warmly welcomed.
The Aims of the Survey are -
To list all the species occurring in Vice-County 38, Warwickshire, confirmed by the fungus survey panel, or by an outside referee, each species being represented by at least one specimen preserved in the herbarium.
To contribute to the knowledge of the distribution of species by recording data from forays and personal records and submitting them to the Fungus Record Database of the British Isles, FRDBI
To arrange regular forays to chosen sites, and also to visit other sites within the Vice-County and to give notice of these visits in an annual Study and Recording Programme.
To encourage and inform beginners of the attractions of studying fungi and to provide leaders of fungus forays for other interested groups.
The Watsonian Vice Counties were devised by Hewett C. Watson and published first in 1852 in his 'Cybele Britannica'. Essentially they are based on the county divisions at the time, but a number of the larger counties were split up so that each vice-county would represent a more or less equal recording area. The vice-county system presents a standard recording pattern, to which all county floras follow. No matter how many boundary alterations are carried out by Government, the recording areas remain the same, so that exact comparisons can be made between present records and those published in the past. Details of the vice county boundaries, with both text and maps, were published by the Ray Society, (Dandy 1969).
Dandy, J.E. 1969 'Watsonian Vice Counties of Great Britain', the Ray Society, London.
photographed by a beginner
at a W.F.S. field meeting
Between May or June and December, between twelve and fifteen forays are held, at sites throughout Warwickshire. These are attended by both beginners and experienced mycologists
Specimens of rare species and those new to the county are dried, their details entered on cards, and added to the Herbarium of the Warwickshire Fungus Survey, housed in the County Museum at Warwick.
Lists of species found are issued every year to the contributors to the survey, and periodically, the lists are published, along with other details in the Proceedings of the Birmingham Natural History Society. Records are also sent to be incorporated in the Database of the British Mycological Society.
ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT
The Survey is being undertaken by the Mycological Section of the Birmingham Natural History Society, and was started in 1965, at the suggestion of Dr.Nancy Montgomery, then of Birmingham University.
Birmingham Natural History Society Website
An enthusiastic group of amateur and professional mycologists worked during the following fifteen years to produce the Fungus Flora of Warwickshire, which was published in 1980 by the British Mycological Society and edited by the late Malcolm Clark. The book is fully detailed, and devoted entirely to Fungi, including Lichens.
It was obvious, even with the publication of the Flora that new species were still turning up, and that the Survey was well worth carrying on. Since 1980, nine supplements have been published in the Proceedings of the Birmingham Natural History Society.
The group is still strong today, and enthusiastically carrying on the tradition, with forays, courses and other activities. New members continue to join us and, of course, are always welcome.
The Fungus Flora of Warwickshire
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Copyright Warwickshire Fungus Survey. IIlustrations of 'Cheilymenia' specimen from plates by Emile Boudier 'Iconesmycologicae' 1905-1910. Unacknowledged Graphics, Clare Hinchliffe.