Next to Hemsworth Water Park there is some very marshy woodland, in which there is a particularly fine display of marsh marigolds every spring. That’s something to watch out for in the coming weeks.
There are some large crack willows in the wood, in varying stages of growth and decay. Yesterday, I spotted a fine bracket fungus on the side of one of the trees. After a bit of research, I identified it as willow bracket (Phellinus igniarius). There is some interesting information available on the internet describing how the ash of this fungus was chewed with coca leaves or tobacco by the aboriginal people of North and South America. The ash enhanced the effect of the other substances because of its high pH value. Pictures are available of the containers that they used for storing the ash.
As with some of my earlier fungus finds, the knowledgeable people of the British Mycological Society group on Facebook confirmed the identification that I made for this species.