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Reverse the red
Hazel Gloves Fungus is a priority species on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and a rare find for any fungi fan.
Sarah Shuttleworth discovers this funky fungi for Reverse the Red month, and the secrets it reveals about the area it’s found in.
Hazel Gloves Fungus’ common name comes from the finger-like projections of the stromata, cushion-like plate of solid mycelium. Found on Hazel trees in Britain, it is actually parasitic on the Glue Crust fungus Hymenochaete corrugate, and not the Hazel tree itself.
It was incredibly exciting to find Hazel Glove fungus. I knew about its importance as a rainforest indicator species and also its rarity status. I had seen many photos of it and so when I turned to take a second look at something I saw in the corner of my eye, I knew at once what it was.
I couldn’t share my unbridled joy at my discovery with anyone else in that moment, unless you include telling the singing Dipper I had just spotted or indeed talking to myself about it as I walked back along the trail. However, I was able to capture that moment on camera to relive again.
Hazel Glove fungus is an indicator of good air quality and temperate rainforest conditions, making it a flagship species for this threatened habitat. Temperate rainforests are found in areas that are influenced by the sea, with high rainfall and humidity and damp climate.
They are home to some intriguing and sometimes rare bryophytes, plants and fungi. Plantlife are working in many ways to protect and restore this globally threatened habitat.
I have since sent in my record to the county fungi recorder with a 10 figure grid reference, only to discover that this species has not been officially recorded in that area before, which only heightened my sense of achievement.
Recording fungi and sending your finds to local wildlife recorders creates a more accurate picture of the wild and wonderful world around us – and helps people like us know where to target conservation efforts.
It’s estimated that more than 90% of fungi are unknown to science, and only 0.4% of the fungi we know about have enough data to be assessed for global conservation status – letting us know if they’re critically endangered or not.
In the last few years there have been brand new species discovered right here in the UK, but we wouldn’t know about them if people like you didn’t get out and look for them.
To get started, find your local fungi recording group…
Britain’s waxcap grasslands are considered to be the best in Europe. Discover the pressures these colourful fungi and their habitats face…
Fungi are one of our most fascinating creations, and best of all, they are right under our noses – perfect for children to spot.
Grasslands like meadows and parks are not just home to wildflowers, they are also an important habitat for waxcap fungi.
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