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Page last updated at 07:05 GMT, Thursday, 19 August 2010 08:05 UK
Rare red fungi found
The Red Cage fungus found in Lilford near Oundle
The Red Cage fungus found in Lilford near Oundle

A rare fungi that smells like rotting flesh has been discovered in Northamptonshire.

The fungi has been growing in the pot of a bamboo plant near Oundle for the past 2 weeks.

The Wildlife Trust says the Red Cage Fungus, also known as the Lattice Stinkhorn, is a first for the county.

Up until now, it has only been recorded in the West Country and Channel Islands, and is regarded as an alien species in the UK.

Steve Flack from Lilford spotted a hard white sphere in the plant pot.

Over two weeks, he watched the sphere grow to the size of a golf ball and decided to call the Wildlife Trust.

Experts there identified the red fungi as a rare species which smells like rotting flesh.

Steve said: "I didn't look at it for about three or four days so I was very surprised to discover it had turned red and very smelly…I have never seen anything remotely like this."

According to the Association of British Fungus Groups, there are only 38 records of the Red Cage fungus in the whole country.

Brian Eversham the Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Peterborough, said: "It is a real find.

"I'm delighted to see this. It's a native of Southern Europe, and is thought to have been spreading northwards in the last few decades. "

The Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre, which records unusual finds in the county, has confirmed that the fungi is a first for them.

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