A Warminster gardener is appealing for help to identify a giant fungus on a copper beech tree in her garden.

Iris Macey, 73, who lives with her husband Brian, 76, in Barley Close, said the fungus was an annual visitor, but had never reached such proportions before.

At first Mrs Macey was planning to remove the intruder, but when it started to grow, she decided it made a welcome addition to the garden.

“I think it is wonderful,” she said.

“It comes up every year and normally it is quite small, but this year it has just got bigger and bigger, perhaps because of all the rain we’ve been having.

“It grows around an old copper beech tree in the garden, which is about 150 years old and has a tree preservation order on it.

“The fungus has been growing for about eight weeks this summer, and started off very small.

“I had been thinking of taking it out, but it looks so lovely I decided to leave it.

“It is still growing now, although I imagine it will burn itself out soon.”

She said although she could understand why some people might find the fungus creepy or disgusting, she thought the latest addition to her garden was lovely, when examined more closely.

“My daughter Jane thinks it’s awful, she says it’s scary, but I think it’s beautiful, particularly all the detail when you study it,” she said.

“I don’t know what kind of fungus it is, I would love to know. I am leaving it to itself at the minute, but it is obviously a strong grower, it has overtopped all the irises around it.”