A WALKER has spotted the “devil” hiding in the undergrowth of a country estate near Bromyard.

A rare fungus called the Devil’s Fingers has been discovered in the grounds of the Brockhampton Estate.

The bright red fungus is indigenous to Tasmania and tends to be found in Britain in moist or shaded conditions in the south.

It usually appears between July and September and grows in secluded meadows or deciduous or mixed woodland.

Finder James Clay said he was thrilled find the clathrus archeri while walking around the National Trust estate.

“I was excited to find something so strange. It’s my best find yet and I hope to find more through the autumn,”

said Mr Clay.

Brockhampton Estate ranger Nick Hinchliffe thanked Mr Clay for taking the photo as the devil’s appearance was fleeting.

“We’ve since been out looking for it but unfortunately it has already gone – James was really lucky to spot it,” said the ranger.

“Once you have them they can apparently come up again in the same place every year so we’ll be keeping an eye out.”

The fungus, which has redcoloured arms and a pungent smell, was spotted at the top of the estate near Brockhampton Mews. As with all plants and fungi on National Trust property, it is a by-law offence to disturb it without authority.

Sheila Spence from Marches Fungi has never seen the fungus before but confirmed the sighting was the county’s first.

She leads regular fungi walks through the estate, The Weir and Croft Castle sites.