December 6 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 2, 2013
Steps are being taken to safeguard a rare fungus which was found in the grounds of a Norfolk boarding school.
Oak polypore (Buglossoporus pulvinus) was found growing out of an oak tree at Wymondham College.
It is only the third time the fungus has been recorded in Norfolk.
Senior science technician Andy Gardiner noticed the fungus as he was driving home.
“I am always on the lookout for things and I could see fungus growing out of a tree. I noticed it because it was a bright yellow colour.
“We thought it might be an oak polypore and sent a photo to the county recorder
“We are going to have to put some kind of mesh over the top to stop the children getting to it.
“It’s quite close to the football pitches.”
A tree warden also visited the site and confirmed it was oak polypore.
The fungus, which is around the same size a hand, is growing out of a 300-year-old oak tree on the school site close to the football pitch.
Mr Gardiner, who has worked at the school for seven years, said: “A fungus grows within a tree and we just see the flowering body. It will produce spores .
“We do not know if it will fruit again.
“We don’t know much about it because it is so rarely seen.
“You have to always been on the lookout.
“We are very happy that we have found something so rare on our site.”
The first ever UK fungus day will be held in Sunday, October 13.
To mark the occasion, the John Innes Centre will host a free event for families with lots of hands-on activities to explore the world of fungi between 10am-4pm.