A trail of mosaic mushrooms is set to be installed across Halesowen to celebrate the town's rare fungi.

Organisers of Halesowen In Bloom hope the mushrooms will prove the magical ingredient for success in a bid for global recognition when they go up against towns from afar afield as Japan and America in the international Communities in Bloom contest.

The heritage trail made up of around six mosaic mushrooms, representing Leasowes Park's waxcaps, will be a permanent feature around the town for families to follow.

A model narrowboat is also being built to impress the international judges when they jet into the Black Country in the summer.

The barge, which is being constructed by Coombeswood Canal Trust, will be sited on a grass verge on the Queensway to improve the gateway to the town.

Cornbow Shopping Centre manager Eve O'Connor, who is chair of Halesowen In Bloom, said: "It's a brilliant opportunity for Halesowen to represent Britain in Bloom against the rest of the world.

"It's a fantastic for us and a massive achievement to even get this far.

"The community has worked so hard towards this and it reflects what they have achieved.

"The friends of parks groups, charities, Halas Homes, the college and schools - everyone has come together to do so much positive work to make the town a nice place to live.

"The mosaic heritage mushroom trail reflects the beautiful waxcap mushrooms at Leasowes Park - we are highlighting what is unique to the town."

Leasowes senior warden Anthony Ravenscroft said the grade one listed park is hoping to become a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its population of waxcaps, this year.

He said: "We have a healthy population of waxcaps. They grow in very old undisturbed grasslands which have never been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides and have never been agriculturally improved.

"There has been a ninety five per cent loss of this habitat in the British Isles since WW2 so to have it is very good.

"The waxcaps come up in the summer and autumn - they are no good for eating!"

The citrine waxcap, which is on the IUCN's global red data list - a list of species at threat of extinction - was recorded at Leasowes in 2017. Ballerina, blackening, butter, crimson, goblet, golden, honey, meadow, intermediate, oily, scarlet, snowy, slimy and parrot waxcaps have also been spotted at the site off Mucklow Hill.

The barge, which will be built half to scale, represents the history of Halesowen when barges would travel from Somers Forge through the Lapal tunnel and into Birmingham.

The judging, which normally takes place in June or July, is based on the following criteria: tidiness, environmental Action, heritage conservation, urban forestry, landscaped areas and floral displays with the winners announced in Nova Scotia in September. Halesowen will be judged in the urban community category.