Look out for rainbow fungi

A PARK ranger is hopeful that the wet summer means a good year for grassland fungi, the multi-coloured waxcaps.

Northumberland National Park is once again conducting a survey of waxcap toadstools and is requesting anyone walking in the National Park in the next few weeks to look out for them and record any sightings.

Ranger Shaun Hackett said: “We would be very grateful for help in identifying species and sites for these important fungi in the National Park.

“Just recording the presence of the different colours will be a big help for rangers and ecologists to identify sites and decide which ones need conserving.”

Waxcaps have been described as the orchids of the fungi world and are easy to spot by their bright rainbow colours that range from yellows, reds, oranges and pinks to mauves, greys, whites, browns, blacks and greens.

They have thick waxy gills and the stems are often the same colour as the cap.

A simple mention of the colour and location is all that is required for the survey.

Ramblers, dog walkers, visitors, farmers and shepherds can pick up a Waxcap survey postcard from National Park information centres or can download the postcard from: www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/waxcapspostcard.pdf