A spooky substance is growing rapidly in Dockenfield, near Frensham Common.

Walkers and local residents enjoying the area over recent sunny days spotted groups of the Jack O’Lantern fungus, Omphalotus illudens, scattered across the common this past week. 

The species is very rarely spotted in the UK, mostly being found in North America’s Rocky Mountains – there have only ever been about 20 recorded findings in Britain, mainly in the south east.

The so-called “Jack O’Lantern” takes its name from its bright orange colour, which has been known to glow luminescent in the dark. 

However, they are highly poisonous and contain the toxin muscarine, which can cause gastric and digestion issues when ingested.

This impressive-looking toadstool thrives off the roots and undergrowth of deciduous trees such as oak and ash.

Rangers at Frensham Great Pond and Common suspect the spore-bearing fungus has been expanding in the area over recent years and encourage people to report any findings to Waverley Borough Council rangers and staff at the site.