Ecologists make forest find

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FORESTRY experts are delighted after a rare fungus that could have medicinal use was discovered in Thetford Forest.

Ecologists from the Forestry Commission were thrilled when they found an example of Poronia punctata at a site near Hockwold.

It has not been seen in the area since 1944 and was found on pony dung.

Jonathan Spencer, from the Forestry Commission, said the fungus was drawing ‘serious attention’.

“The peculiar way it competes with other bacteria and fungi in the dung, using antibiotics, is new to science and only just beginning to be explored, so its use and value could be huge,” he said.

How the fungus got to the forest is a mystery, but Mr Spencer said the commission’s restoration work had been a factor.