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With mild wet weather, there are more mushrooms around with some quite spectacular - like this one at Clumber Park under the lime-tree avenue in large ‘fairly rings’.

Paul Ardron confirmed it as clitocybe geotropa, which is a late-season species and always showy.

He had also seen some in Graves Park quite recently, but notes that they are always nice to find.

Its common name is the ‘trooping funnel mushroom’ and it is a spectacular species with long, tall stems, or stipes.

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Being one of the few large mushrooms able to persist through mild frosts, specimens can be found throughput late autumn and well into December.

Since this is such an obvious fungus, it has acquired a number of common names which, according to Pat O’Reilly, author of Fascinated by Fungi, include giant funnel, which generally applies to

an even bigger mushroom, leucopaxillus giganteus.

It is also known as monk’s head and, apparently in Scotland, the rickstone funnel-cap.

It is described as a good, edible mushroom, though not among the best.

When young and fresh it can be fried with onions or used in other mushroom dishes.

However, there are similar poisonous species, so perhaps best to avoid.

Prof Ian D Rotherham, a researcher, writer and broadcaster on wildlife and environmental issues, is contactable at [email protected]

Follow his Walk on the Wildside blog at ukeconet.org

Talking about hedgehogs, he says…

Hedgehogs love piles of twiggy rubbish under which they can nest or in winter, hibernate.

So, when rewilding your garden, it is worth using cuttings of woody shrubs and the like to form low, dry mounds which can be covered with green herbaceous material over the top.

You can buy a pre-made ‘hedgehog house’, but the brash pile is cheaper and equally or more tempting for would-be residents.

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