Belongs to: fungi
Hoof fungus Fomes fomentarius
Also known as: tinder fungus, horse's hoof fungus
Best time to see: all year
A large bracket fungus shaped like a horse's hoof that grows mainly on birch trees and sometimes on beech
Ridged and wrinkled; normally brown but can be any colour from silver-grey to almost black; up to 18"/45cm across
Formerly used as tinder, and several pieces were found on the 5,000-year old "iceman"
© Tony Gunton