The Sandy Stiltball, extremely rare fungus alive and well in Cambridge!


Good news! A never before recorded fungus (for this area) has been spotted at Byron’s pool nature reserve. This wonderful fungus has a rounded head and a shaggy ochre-brown stalk. The fruiting body is produced between September and November but the stalk remains in place throughout the winter months which allows a longer period for possible identification.

The head of the fungi is a mass of spores which have a warty appearance and are brown and spherical in shape.

The species prefers dry and sandy banks or edges of woodland. It is associated with decaying wood particularly Elm. It was first named in 1785 in Suffolk and it is now classified as endangered and is fully protected in the UK. It is just one of four species of non-lichenized fungi to receive protection under schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Furthermore it is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) and is included in the English Nature recovery programme.

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