Page last updated at 01:24 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 02:24 UK

New fungi species unearthed in UK

Mushrooms are a popular addition to many kinds of dishes

Several species of fungi new to the UK have been unearthed by mushroom experts at the National Trust's Clumber Park.

Conservationists say the wet summer means some species of fungi have thrived this year.

And the recent warmer winters means there could be even more exotic mushrooms to be found in this country.

Experts say it is likely these new discoveries have always been at the Nottinghamshire park, but that they flourished in the extremely wet August.

Mushroom spores can also travel great distances on the air and in water.

One of the new species to be identified has the Latin name of Tuber mesentericum, which is also known as the Bagnoli truffle.

This is prized in Italy for its intense flavour.

However, another new discovery is from a family of fungi commonly known as pinkgills, some of which can be very poisonous.

Dr Peter Roberts, from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, says it has already been an amazing season for rare and interesting fungi, with at least 10 species new to the UK reported in the last two weeks alone.

But the same period has seen experts warning the public not to eat mushrooms unless they can be certain they are of the non-toxic variety.

The author of the Horse Whisperer book, Nicholas Evans, was taken to hospital last month after picking and eating poisonous mushrooms while on holiday in Scotland.

The writer and his wife Charlotte were in Moray when their party cooked and ate mushrooms picked in woodland.

Wild fungi: delicious or deadly?
15 Sep 08 |  South of Scotland
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02 Sep 08 |  North East/N Isles
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