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I’m a dedicated wildlife recorder, inputting my sightings of flora and fauna into the database of my local records centre, SEWBReC (the South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre). Each month the team at SEWBReC nominates a species that is poorly recorded in their system, in that hope that recorders like me will search high and low to help augment their records. The reason is that if record numbers are low, you can’t tell whether a species is endangered or just under-recorded, so it’s important to record even the most common things.


The October species of the month is a case in point. The Stump puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme) is really common throughout Britain, yet the SEWBReC database had only 167 records at the start of the month. Well, I can tell you it will have a whole lot more by the end of October, because I’ve seen them almost everywhere I go and I’ve been photographing and recording them all. It’s the only British puffball to grow on wood so it’s easy to identify, and it often grows in large colonies – as one fungi expert put it, it’s ‘the banana of the fungi world, its bunches create impressive vistas’.

For more on SEWBReC’s species of the month, see here. If you live in the area, or even if you’re just visiting, you can help by recording your sightings.