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Volume 5 Part 1

Spring 1991

Recent Sightings and Casual Notes

CNFC Recording Events and Workshop Programme 1991

The Forming of a Field Study Group Within the CNFC

Additions to Records of Fungi In Cleveland

Recent Sightings and Casual Notes

CNFC Recording Events and Workshop Programme 1991

The Forming of a Field Study Group Within the CNFC

Additions to Records of Fungi In Cleveland



111th SESSION 1991-1992



Mrs J.M. Williams

11, Kedleston Close

Stockton on Tees.

Mrs J.M. Williams

11 Kedleston Close

Stockton on Tees.
Programme Secretaries:
J.E. Bradbury & K. Pagdin

21, North Close



Miss M. Gent

42, North Road


Committee Members:

J. Blackburn K. Houghton M. Yates

Records sub-committee:
A.Weir, M Birtie

P.Wood, D Fryer, J. Blackburn

M. Hallam, V. Jones


I. C.Lawrence (CWT)

J. Blackburn (YNU)

M. Birtle (NNU)

It is perhaps fitting that, as the Cleveland Naturalist's Field Club enters its 111th year in 1991, we should be celebrating its long history of natural history recording through the re-establishment of the "Proceedings". In the early days of the club this publication formed the focus of information desemmination and was published continuously from 1881 until 1932. Despite the enormous changes in land use which have occurred in the last 60 years, and indeed the change in geographical area brought about by the fairly recent formation of Cleveland County, many of the old records published in the Proceedings still hold true and even those species which have disappeared or contracted in range are of value in providing useful base line data for modern day surveys.
Early Field Club notes illustrate a very different way of life from that of the present day with members freguently travelling to outings by train and occasionally, as in the 1899 outing to Weary Bank Woods, "by brake". For indoor meetings there was of course no slide projector although a report in the 1899 Proceedings draws our attention to the kindness of the Cleveland Camera Club in providing " Gas for the lantern".
Undoubtedly there was a greater abundance of wildlife in the area than at the present time with the diversity of bird life around the mouth of the estuary being particularly apparent. Club members recorded the flora and fauna of sites about to vanish under the new industrial and urban development and excavations for iron works and buildings brought to light many interesting finds such as axe heads, mammoth tusks, skeletons and a Pleisocene skull!
One might ask how we know so much about the events and sightings of the early days of the Club and the response has to be because the information was published. The changes in flora and fauna during the last 60 years however, is a much greyer area and from a history of science point of view a much duller era. Surely we owe it to the present population and future generations of Clevelanders to document our outings and records through the re-establishment of the Proceedings of the Cleveland Naturalist's Field Club - This journal represents the beginnings of such an exercise.
The publication of this first volume owes much to the initiative and endeavour of the Records sub-comroittee and in particular the following-
Alex Weir, Malcolm Birtle, lan Lawrence, Pat Wood, Darroll Fryer, Maurice Hallare, John Blackburn and Vince Jones
Following an upsurge in interest In geology and the natural sciences, resulting from a series of lectures on physical geography, the Cleveland Naturalists' Field Club and University Extension Society held Its Inaugural neeting on 4th April 1881. The meeting took place at the Philosophical Society In Corporation Road, Middlesbrough and was presided over by Dr. W.Y. Veltch. The objectives of the Club were to be the practical study of natural history, science, archeology and antiguities in the Cleveland area, which then included a large part of the North York Moors.
Invitations to the Inaugural meeting had been confined to existing members of the Philosophical Society, and, in order to offer membership to others, the meeting was adjourned and an invitation to all interested was inserted in the local press. About 70 local people responded to the advertisement giving the organisation, which was to become the Cleveland Naturalists Field Club, in 1885, the early support required to become established.
From Its earliest beginnings the members of the Club faithfully accumulated and published records on natural history etc. through the regular appearance of the “Proceedings". These appeared continually until 1932 when, for uncertain reasons, nothing was published. Unfortunately the events of the last 58 years have gone unrecorded excepting the centenary issue produced by the Club in 1981.
Early In the life of the Club, in association with the Philosophical Society, a movement for the establishment of a local Museum was initiated, this resulted in the opening in 1904, of the Dorman Memorial Museum, the gift of Sir Arthur Dorman, in memory of his son.
Several distinguished members of the Club made valuable contributions to the successful organisation and running of the Museum including Frank Elgee, a well known local naturalist and archaeologist. Elgee Memorial Lectures are still an annual event, held in his honour.
Between 1939 and 1961 the Club maintained close contact with the Museum, holding Its Indoor meetings in the Nelson Room, which. Incidentally, still houses a fine collection of birds and their eggs. Post 1961 meetings have taken place at the University of Leeds Centre in Harrow Road. Middlesbrouoh.
Our Club has been fortunate in the past to count among its members many who became authorities in their own field of specialisation, and some whose names became known far beyond the confines of Cleveland.
Today excursions to areas of natural beauty and interest are still an essential part of the annual programme and in 1991 this will be extended to include more specialised workshops and recording days. These will be primarily aimed at neglected groups of organisms and threatened sites with insufficient data. A full programme of events for 1991 appears on page 37 of these Proceedings.
It may be appropriate to stress here that one does not need to be an expert in any branch of natural history to become a member, or to take part in specialised field recording work. Additionally this publication is not a closed house for scientific records and casual sightings of local wildlife etc. would be gratefully received.
It is hoped that these Proceedings will once again become the focus of attention for Club members and visiting naturalists, and in order for them to become successful the editorial panel require items of a sufficiently high standard for publication, we hope that these will be forthcoming from the more active members within the Club and from other workers in the field.


Compiled by Alex Weir BSc (Hons)
The region known as Cleveland is situated in the North East of England where it encompasses an area of approximately 585.5 km2. Although a small County with large industrial complexes and urban conurbations the diverse geological deposits found in the area, when considered along with the enormous impact of roan, both in the destruction and creation of habitats, results in an extremely rich and varied ecological resource. The flora and vegetation are, to a large extent, already documented in the recently published or forthcoming works by (Graham, 1988), (Weir and Allinson, 1988) and (Lawrence in press).
The fungus flora, on the other hand, has been largely ignored with occasional lists appearing in Yorkshire Naturalist Union (YNU) publications.
In an attempt to begin to redress this unsatisfactory state of affairs I have, over the last three years, undertaken to record the occurrence of fungi throughout the County. The following list summarises the results of this initial survey and also includes recent records from Mr. A. W. Legg (AWL) of Darlington who has collected extensively in the Loftus area, YNU records (1972, 1977, 1984) appearing in "The Naturalist", all from Grinkle Park, have also been added and distributional tetrad data is given where possible. It must be clearly stated here that this list represents nothing more than a preliminary account of the fungus flora of Cleveland (probably less than 10% of total flora). Comparisons with published accounts from the Hebrides (Dennis R.W.G., 1986) and Warwickshire (Clark M. C., 1980) will give support to this statement.
It is hoped that, although incomplete, this list will stimulate greater interest in the local fungus flora and that sufficient interested persons will be forthcoming in order to help with the detailed work involved in the production of a fungus flora for the County. This could probably be best achieved through the formation of a Cleveland Fungus Study Group which could exist as a sub committee of the Cleveland Naturalist's Field Club.
I am indebted to Mr. A.W. Legq for information used in this article and for help with the determination of some critical species.


Fungi take many widely differing forms and have to be divided, for the purposes of study and classification into a number of well defined groups.
Mastigomycotina and Zygomycotina ("Phycomycetes")
Ascomycotina (Ascomycetes)


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