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News and events

Mushroom Magic

A Report on the UK Fungus Day Event

If you go down to the woods today be in for a big surprise...

The surprise being that so far this year there have been very few fungi visible which is very unusual, is this global warming or something else?

Normally by this point the autumn, a careful walker would see everything from the familiar scarlet cloaked Fly Agaric much loved by reindeer to delicate bright bluey-green Elf Cups which have the ability to stain their preferred soggy deadwood habitat the most outlandish colour; an ability harnessed in the past by craftsmen for high value marquetry as well as many other uses.

Last weekend the annual local gala of fungi – “Mushroom Magic” – was held in partnership with the Buckinghamshire County Museum in Aylesbury.  A huge effort by Bucks Fungus Group volunteers and Museum staff brought this popular public event together. No easy task given how hard it is this year to find anything interesting to look at, let alone the huge array of weird and wonderful fruit bodies on display, along with microscope views of fungi, spore prints, activities for children and much, much more.

BMERC staff joined in with the fun, answering general queries and we even got to do some colouring in and modelling of all manner of lifelike (and some rather creative) renditions of mushrooms with children and their parents.  At one point of the day the key entertainment appeared to be some sort of larvae, presumed to be fly larvae, hatching out from a very mature bracket fungus and literally catapulting themselves across the room totally unexpectedly.

For anyone who missed the event or would like to find out more about the hidden world of fungi the Bucks Fungus Group an excellent programme of walks and forays this autumn and winter. More information of events to come can be found on their website: http://www.bucksfungusgroup.org.uk/events.html

Article by Julia Carey.

 

BMERC Data Searches:

Notice of a completely new service and price changes, effective 5th August 2019

BMERC is making major changes to provide you with a new, faster and online data searches service.    

What’s new?

From Monday 5th August 2019 you will be able to specify and retrieve your search online.   This will give you the benefits of:

  • Simple selection of the search area from online menus and maps.
  • A small number of standard packages and optional extras
  • Immediate quotation and submission of your order
  • Results guaranteed within one working day, and often within 2 hours.
  • Immediate invoicing with results
  • Results provided via a link to an online mapping tool which allows results to displayed, filtered, downloaded and printed.  The link to the search results is available for six months. 
  • Results can be downloaded and printed in two versions:
    • Confidential  - for your own use and analysis to derive data for external reports
    • Public - can be shared with others

What’s available and what will it cost?

The standard packages on offer are:

  • Package A: Standard 1km search, including sites, species and habitats               from £130+VAT
  • Package B: Standard 2km search, including sites, species and habitats               from £180+VAT
  • Package C: Parish Boundary Search (Parish Councils only)                                             £50+VAT

An additional species or group (e.g. bats) at a larger search radius can be added to these packages. Prices for these additions are from £30 + VAT.

Polygon or linear searches will increase the cost, as charges vary according to the total area searched.

Requesting data outside standard packages will require a Custom Search. These will be quoted separately and may be provided in a different format and within a different timescale than the Standard Packages.

We understand this is another price increase, but we believe that that improved service, particularly the quick turnaround time, compares favourably with other providers. 

What do I need to do?

From 5th August, visit the BMERC home page and follow the link for Data Searches, any searches already in the system will be dealt with in the normal way.    

Please let us know what you think when you have used the new service.

We would love to hear what you think of the new service, and if you have any questions or feedback.  Please contact us at erc@buckscc.gov.uk

 

Join the Pufferazi!

Puffin numbers have plummeted and they are now threatened with global extinction and this could be due to a lack of food.  The RSPB are really keen to get photos of puffins with food in their bills to help them work out what they are eating and how much. 

This is where you come in...

Are you planning your summer holidays?  Will you be going near the coast?  More specifically will you be anywhere near a puffin colony between now and late July?  If so, the RSPB would like to enlist your help – join the Puffarazzi and send them your photos of puffins with food in their beaks. 

If you’re not going to the coast this year you can still get involved, do you have photos from previous years?  If they show puffins with food and you have the information about when and where the photo was taken you can submit it to the site and maybe do your bit to help save this iconic little bird from extinction.

Have a look on the RSPB website and get clicking!

https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/events-dates-and-inspiration/puffarazzi

Please note that BMERC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Image courtesy of Bucks Fungus Group.