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The Fungus Records of Willis Bramley

by Don Smith

I agreed, with some trepidation, to act as Fungi Recorder, on the somewhat tenuous grounds that lichens are only fungi with a different lifestyle. I am therefore currently engaged in transferring records from sites within the Society’s boundaries from Willis Bramley’s book A Fungus Flora of Yorkshire on to my PC. I am also incorporating Colin Stephenson’s very welcome lists, and records from any other sources I can find.

The records, which can then be stored on disk, will consist of six separate lists: site, author, species (with site, author and date codes), classification hierarchy, English names, and an introduction. I feel that members, particularly recently-joined members, should be aware of Willis Bramley’s work through this introduction, which reads:

“With the death of Willis Bramley, our mycological recorder, in 1992 the Society suffered a loss which will be difficult to make good. He was our oldest member, one of the founder members, and fungi recorder since 1920 for the mycological section of the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union. A short while before his death he was presented with the medal of the Mycological Society for his contributions to Mycology. When advancing years and ill health prevented Willis from actively pursuing field work, the YNU Mycological section combined his records with those of other experts to produce, in 1985, a comprehensive book entitled A Fungus Flora of Yorkshire, published under Willis’ name. It is from this book that the majority of the following records have been obtained. These are supplemented by the later records of Colin Stephenson, the Mycology Recorder for the Scarborough Field Naturalists Society. Our own society is fortunate in having an expert not too far away who is willing to lead our Fungus Forays.

It is, then, to Willis Bramley’s memory that this list is dedicated with the hope that it will continue to grow as our acknowledgement of a much admired and respected former member.”

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