Dartmoor Nature Tours

Discover Dartmoor's wildlife with a professional local guide  


October 2018 (updated on Tuesday 2 October)

October was the eighth month of the Roman Year - but the Slavs called it the Yellow month because of the fading colours of the leaves.

September was another dry, sunny month with just a couple of rainy days but the wind has turned to the north and autumn has now definitely arrived. The last spring migrant birds have returned to their wintering areas in Africa and the first redwing and fieldfares will soon start arriving arrived from Northern Europe.

Fungi - The Third Force!

Fungi are neither plants (they don’t have chlorophyll) or animals and are now recognised as a kingdom in their own right. The problem for the amateur enthusiast is that there are so many of them - several thousand in the UK alone. They depend on a complex combination of warmth and moisture whilst soil and vegetation influence what species are likely to be found in any given locality.

Each year is very different for fungi and although there are regulars you can never be sure which ones will reveal themselves. Earlier in September there were plenty of Ceps and Chanterelles but the continuing dry weather has made foraging a bit more challenging. Clustered Tough Shank (see picture below, top right) and Primrose Brittlegill (see picture below, bottom left) took a bit of finding on the heathland at Yarner Wood but you can always find something if you look in the right places.

One of the delights of autumn are the colour changes of Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis ) which grows in damp places alongside rivers and bogs (see picture below, bottom right). The name Osmunda possibly derives from Osmunder , a Saxon name for the god Thor. The name royal fern also derives from it being one of the largest and most imposing European ferns.

Future Events -

Langaford Farm Fungi Foray will take place on Sunday October 14th starting at 14.00 hours This is a free event but donations for the Farm Trust are welcome but BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL (see contact details below).

Further walks can also be arranged on request – please ring Phil Page on Tel: 0785 8421 148 or e-mail to: enquiries@dartmoornaturetours.co.uk if you need more information.

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