Hoof Fungus Fomes fomentarius an update
In the Worcestershire Record of November 2011 (Bingham 2011) I reported on Alan Brown's discovery of Fomes fomentarius (Hoof Fungus) on the Devil's Spittleful Nature Reserve near Kidderminster. The fungus was discovered to be present on quite a few mature birch Betula pendula trees scattered around the Devil's Spittleful rock. Thankfully many of the old trees were retained during the heathland restoration works and the fungus has so far survived at the site. At the time I wondered if this predominantly northern species was overlooked in Worcestershire with possibly more sites occurring on the sandy soils around the Kidderminster area.
During a fungus foray to Kingsford County Park north of Kidderminster on the very border with Staffordshire on the 10 September 2013 I chanced on another group of Fomes fomentarius growing on suitable old and over mature birch trees, including some fallen birch trunks. The area was mature secondary woodland and no doubt it would have been heathland in the not too distant past. Again, the site was on sandy soil and free draining. So if anyone is visiting secondary woodland on the sandstones of Kidderminster keep a look out for Fomes, it might well be quite a common species but restricted to growing over mature birch trees.
Bingham, J. 2011. Hoof Fungus Fomes fomentarius at the Devil's Spittleful Nature Reserve. Worcestershire Record 31:26.