Once upon a time there was a coral that decided it didn’t like living under the ocean. It didn’t like living on hard unyeilding rocks; it didn’t like always having dirty sand being washed around its clean white branches by the harsh ocean waves; and it certainly didn’t like having all manner of little fishes ducking and diving around and nibbling at its extremities. So, it rebelled! It upped roots and moved to the land, to a place where it could be sheltered by beech trees and conifers, where it could spread its delicate root system through the welcoming piles of buried wood and leaf litter, where it could stretch its little branches straight up towards the sky.
Nah, not really! This is a coral fungus, probably Ramaria stricta, the Upright Coral fungus. It is quite common in Britain, and can also be found from late summer through the autumn months in much of Europe and in North America. It looks for all the world like the coral you find on reefs in tropical seas and oceans around the world, hence my fanciful flight of imagination earlier.