Throughout the autumn the floor of the Heron Wood is full of bizarre and beautiful fungal fruiting bodies, making this a magical and fascinating area of the garden to visit. This is because the Heron Wood, at the top of the hillside, is home to the cryptogamic sanctuary.
The wood is a virtually untouched, semi-native woodland, including Holly, Oak, Beech and Scot’s Pine. To facilitate the growth of fungi, the area is less intensively managed than the rest of the garden, with fallen tree, branches and leaf litter being left for these organisms to colonise.
The Sanctuary is probably one of the best studied and documented areas of its kind, being the focus of international research into fungi. More than a third of the 1,055 species of fungi which are known to occur at Dawyck can be found in this area.