The strange and wonderful nature of British forests including Phallus “Stinkhorn” | UK news

A Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) Pic: Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust issues a call to action for people to help protect the exotic and wonderful wildlife that inhabits the nation’s forests.

The Woodland Trust report showed that only 7% of the country’s forested land is in good ecological condition.

The Trust has released photos and details of at least ten examples of strange but beautiful wildlife living secretly among us, like a beetle sleeping in its feces and a “blood-blooding” mushroom.

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Alistair Hotchkiss, conservation adviser at the Woodland Trust, said: “Now more than ever, with climate change and biodiversity crises, do we need to protect and restore the UK’s natural environments.

“These 10 species are just the tip of the iceberg — or mushrooms that emerge from the vast soil fungal network — of the secrets our forest habitats hold.

“Every genre can tell us a story, everything has a role to play, and we still have a lot to learn. We must do everything we can to make sure we don’t lose it.”

Liver fistula

Nature’s list of exotic and wonderful includes beef mushroom (Fistulina hepatica).

This ‘ecosystem engineer’ looks like raw shredded meat that oozes ‘blood’ when sliced.

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They also serve as a food source for insects and other fungi, and they also make a nesting hiatus for birds as they hollow out old trees.

The nut pot beetle has some unpleasant crawling habits
The nut pot beetle has some unpleasant crawling habits

Also included is the nut pot beetle (Cryptocephalus coryli) that makes a cocoon from its dung. Once widespread, it is now only found in a few locations such as Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.

Like its name, Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) is a rod-shaped stinging mushroom.

Out of extreme embarrassment of look and feel, it was clubbed by the Victorians, but it was also used as a remedy for gout and as a love potion during the Middle Ages.

Recent scientific research has indicated that it can be used in the treatment of venous thrombosis (blood clots in the veins).

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Pseudomarsupidium decipiens Pic: Woodland Trust
Pseudomarsupidium decipiens Pic: Woodland Trust

The Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) appears on the list. They roost in caves, mines, and stately homes nestled in wooded landscapes, feeding on small moths, midges, and mosquitoes.

Lower horseshoe bat photo: The jungle chest of the lower horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros)
Lower horseshoe bat photo: Woodland Trust

Other organisms on the list include the Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), the sausage chain lichen (Usnea articulata), the Knothole yoke-moss (Zygodon forsteri), the eagle’s claw lichen (Anaptychia ciliaris), and the horned comb wasp (Ctenophora flaveolata).

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