A very rare fungi has been discovered at the RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve.
Thirty one species of fungi were noted on a recent foray around the reserve as part of Halloween celebrations.
Dr Tony Leech, county fungi recorder for Norfolk, led the walk through the wet woods around the visitor centre where the group found a variety of fungi belonging to the agarics, bracket and puff tail families. In amongst these were the strangely named sweet poison pie and scurfy deceiver but the prize find was the entoloma phaeocyathus, so rare in Britain that there is no English name for this species.
This small, dark-brown, funnel shaped gilled fungus was identified as a member of the entoloma (pink gill) genus, unexpectedly not found in the woodlands of Titchwell but on the edge of the sand dunes on the beach. It may come as a surprise that any fleshy fungus can be found in bare sand amongst marram tufts but for a handful of British species this is their habitat.
It is presumed that they are growing on humus provided by dead marram rhizomes.
Entoloma phaeocyathus is rarely recorded and in Britain has only been reported from Sandwich Bay in Kent (last sighting was 2000) and Pembrokeshire (2013). There are some reports of this fungi being found in the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland where it is a designated protected species.
Not only is this the first sighting of this species in Norfolk but it also a first for any RSPB reserve.
Picture: Tony Leech