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Temple Ewell: Historic village near Dover, Kent

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Welcome to Temple Ewell Newsletter

The Temple Ewell Newsletter is published in print ten times a year and is delivered free to every household in the village, proving an invaluable source of information about village life and activities. Most of the funding for the Newsletter and this Website comes from our advertising.

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A new visitor to our churchyard!

A few of us have recently been made aware of a stunning fungus which is growing on one of our yew trees.  It is called chicken of the woods,  whose scientific name is Laetiporus sulphureus. It is a fairly common fungus in the UK and just coming into season now. 

It is a thick, fleshy bracket fungus, bright creamy yellow with bands of orange when young, fading to cream with age. It has succulent, soft and moist crumbly flesh. The upper surface is velvety, and underneath it has very small pores.  Chicken of the woods is a vital species, supporting a host of wildlife. There are some specialist beetles which only feed on bracket fungi like chicken of the woods, including the hairy fungus beetle.

Chicken of the woods fungus is edible, although it does not agree with everyone. It has been known to cause dizziness and stomach upset. It is inedible when found growing on a poisonous tree, like yew.

Perhaps the most interesting fact about the fungus is that it creates brittle brown rot and hollows out heartwood, leaving the living sapwood of the tree untouched.  Lesser trees can keel over in high winds if their centres rot, but yews need to hollow out, remaking their architecture so they can live forever. Let’s hope that the fungus itself remains untouched – it will be much admired by all who see it!

Picures below ….

Judith Shilling

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