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Fragile amanita toadstool Amanita friabilis - Endangered and nationally rare, this toadstool is a European endemic species associated with alder carr where it is a mycorrhizal associate exclusively of alder trees. It is known from just five hectads in England and Wales. In 1999 it was recorded at Hembury Woods in Devon, the only place it is currently known from in the county. However, it could occur anywhere alders are growing. As with most fungi, the precise habitat conditions it requires are unknown, so the focus must be on the conservation of wet woodlands, a habitat currently often either ignored or under-valued in Devon. Clearance, drainage and mismanagement are among the threats to the habitat.

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Bracket fungus Fuscoporia wahlbergii - Endangered and nationally rare

An extremely rare polypore bracket fungus found on the dead parts of ancient and veteran oak trees in historic mediaeval forests and deer parks. Old open-grown oaks seem to be the key habitat: the known European range is France, Ireland and England where it has been reported from just three sites: Woodend Park near Shute (East Devon), Langley Park (Bucks) and Staverton Park (Suffolk). At Woodend Park it occurs on the King John Oak, where in 2008 the species was found for the first time in Britain. The Oak Polypore Fungus Piptoporus quercinus, another Devon Special Species, also lives on ancient oaks in Woodend Park. In recent years bramble and scrub have been cleared away from around the base of the King John Oak, enabling the fungus to be better monitored and hopefully benefiting it. The precise ecological requirements of the fungus are not known, and even if they were it is improbable that we would be able to precisely create them. However, we can be sure that it is under threat from through the continuing losses of old oaks in parkland situations, through excessive tidiness resulting in the removal of dead and decaying wood, coupled with misconceptions about health and safety; also in the long-term from a failure to establish new generations of open grown trees. Parkland and wood pasture trees are subject to a wide range of additional threats, from damaging activities such as overstocking with livestock, the widespread use of chemical fertilisers and compaction.

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Hazel gloves fungus Hypocreopsis rhododendri - Endangered and nationally scarce

This is an aptly named fungus of moist woodland and scrub where it occurs on hazel, being parasitic on another fungus, a glue crust, Hymenochaete corrugata. North-west Devon is an important British stronghold - here it occurs quite frequently, typically on the stems and branches of mature hazel bushes growing near rivers and streams. In recent years many new localities for it have been found in north-west Devon and it is likely to be increasing in frequency. In southern Devon it is only known from one location, where it occurs on blackthorn. It is threatened by coppicing, scrub removal, removal of woodland undergrowth and clearance of bankside trees and bushes.

Map to show the Devon distribution of this species

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Oak polypore fungus Piptoporus quercinus - Near threatened and nationally scarce

This is a bracket fungus of ancient oaks; the fruiting bodies usually being found during the summer months. Woodend Park, Shute (East Devon), is a major location for it, and indeed a flagship site for ancient oak fungi - another the Devon Special Species bracket fungus, Phellinus wahlbergii, also occurs here. Please see that species for an account of its conservation requirements and threats to the habitat. There are unconfirmed reports of the Oak Polypore occurring elsewhere in Devon.

Further sources of information:

Devon Fungus Group

British Mycological Society