Send us your wildlife sightings

Recording wildlife is an easy way to get involved in wildlife conservation. It is a way of helping us to monitor wildlife across the county to gain an understanding of an animal’s distribution. Your sightings can help us identify areas which are especially important for wildlife and identify species in decline or under threat.

Each season we ask you to help Norfolk's wildlife by sending us your sightings of three species. You don't have to be an expert – all you need to do is tell us when and where you spot them. Use the form to record online, or phone or email us using the details below.

Our current total of wildlife records submitted for this survey are

Giant Puffball

Hoof Fungus

Snowy Waxcap

Log your wildlife sightings here...

Sighting locations so far...


Giant Puffball
Hoof Fungus
Snowy Waxcap

Fungi are intriguing and many people who delve into their world become quite passionate about this mysterious group. Flick through a book on fungi and names such as tawny grisette, amethyst deceiver, skullcap dapperling and slippery Jack will jump off the pages. In Britain there may be as many as 10,000 different fungi, of which approximately 3,000 can be found in Norfolk. The key to fungi identification is not to become overwhelmed and to start with the basics.

Autumn is one of the best seasons to go in search of fungi and this season we would love you to share your sightings of three fungi in particular with us: giant puffball, hoof fungus and the snowy waxcap.

How to spot a giant puffball:

If the fungus is large, white and more or less spherical it is almost certainly a giant puffball. Although much larger specimens have been recorded, most are about the size of a football. The inside is initially white but darkens to become a mass of spores which are liberated when the skin splits.

How to spot a snowy waxcap:

The cap of this waxcap, which measure 2 to 6cm in diameter, is ivory-white, but can be tinged very slightly yellow. The gills are thick and waxy and are widely spaced, and the stipe (stalk) is wavy.

How to spot a hoof fungus:

The hoof fungus can be found growing as a bracket on the trunks of birch trees, and occasionally on other trees. Its fruiting body is hard and shaped like a horse’s hoof, generally no more than 12 cm wide and often almost as deep. The upper surface is normally silvery grey, but can also be brown or almost black. It can be seen on living trees but eventually kills them and persists on their dead trunks.

Giant Puffball
A large, white, typically very spherical fungus which can grow up to the size of a football!
Hoof Fungus
The hoof fungus can be found growing as a bracket on the trunks of birch trees, and occasionally ...
Snowy Waxcap
The snowy waxcap is one of 50 species of waxcap that can be found in the UK. So named due to thei...

Giant puffball (Calvatia gigantea)

This striking fungus is widespread in the UK but not common in Norfolk. It can be found in groups in fields, but more often it is seen in verges and hedgerows, often where the soil nutrient level has been raised.

Hoof fungus (Fomes fomentarius)

The hoof fungus commonly occurs on birch in the north of Britain and rarely on other tree species in south-east England. It has long been absent or scarce over much of central and western England but is moving south and has recently been found at several sites in Norfolk, especially in the west of the county.

Snowy waxcap (Cuphophyllus virgineus)

Waxcaps come in many different shapes, sizes and colours and are a good indicator of ancient meadows. The snowy waxcap is more common and widespread than other waxcaps, and due to being able to tolerate a slightly higher soil fertility it can recolonise an area quicker than other species. Keep your eyes peeled for this small fungus in parkland, garden lawns, churchyards and pastures.

Giant Puffball

  • The giant puffball is one of the largest fungi in the world, and some have been known to reach the size of a small sheep.
  • One giant puffball can contain more than seven trillion spores.
  • An old country name for giant puffball is bulfe.
  • Pieces of the dried spongy spore-mass were kept to staunch bleeding in injured farm animals, and, no doubt, in humans too.
  • The largest giant puffball fruiting body on record was 8ft 8in in diameter and weighed 48 pounds.

Hoof fungus

  • In spring a fruiting body of hoof fungus can produce up to 887 million spores in an hour. In dry weather these spores are visible as white powder.
  • Hoof fungus is also known as tinder fungus, false tinder fungus, tinder conk, tinder polypore and ice man fungus.
  • Otzi, a 5,000 year old preserved iceman that was found in a glacier on the border of Austria and Italy, carried three pieces of hoof fungus with him, thought to be for tinder use.
  • The fruiting body can survive for up to 30 years.
  • A 115,000 year-old hoof fungus was found at Shotesham and is displayed in the Castle Museum


  • Waxcaps take their names from their slippery-looing cap and gills (although some do have dry surfaces.
  • There are about 50 different species of waxcap in the UK.
  • According to Plantlife, the UK is home to some of the most important waxcap grasslands in the world.
  • Waxcaps are sometimes described as the 'orchids' of the fungi world because of their bright and varied colouration.
  • The waxcap group of fungi are especially abundant in undisturbed grasslands: in the best sites, up to 30 species may grow within a one-hectare area.

Download the reports on our previous surveys

   Brown-hare,-barn-owl-and-common-frog-survey-April,-May-and-June-2015 Download   
   Hedgehog,-House-Martin-and-Red-Admiral-Survey-August-2015 Download   
   Water-vole,-grass-snake-and-Himalayan-balsam-survey-July-2015 Download   
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How to take part in this wildlife survey...


The quickest way to take part is by clicking on the submit button below. You will then be asked: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

By phone

Phone Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Information Service on 01603 598333. Don’t forget you will need to tell us: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

By e-mail

Send us an email to [email protected]. Don’t forget you will need to tell us: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it and who you are.

Take part today...