Waxcaps get a new champion

Colin Cheesman

Colin Cheesman

Head of Plantlife Cymru

28th July 2017

Julie Morgan AM who covers the constituency on North Cardiff in the Senedd has become Plantlife Cymru’s first Species Champion for waxcap fungi.

Julie Morgan AM with Head of Plantlife Cymru Colin Cheesman

It is a great privilege for us to have Julie acting as a species champion for the waxcap fungi which are very much under threat from agricultural improvement and development. Plantlife Cymru is developing a Welsh Waxcap project which will engage and train more people about the importance of these fungi and their role as indicators of the history of Welsh grasslands.

Julie was involved with the local community in ensuring that the Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs in her constituency were not developed for housing but were saved for the future use by the community. As part of that campaign it was discovered that the grasslands around the reservoirs were especially good for waxcap especially Smoky Spindles, Clavaria fumosa, Ballerina Waxcap, Hygrocybe calyptriformis and Earthy Waxcap, Hygrocybe fornicata. The site was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural Resources Wales in 2005.

Recently Julie joined other AM’s who are species champions at the Senedd organised by the Wales Environment Link, of which Plantlife is a member to celebrate the end of the first year of species champions. The event was hosted by Jenny Rathbone AM who is species champion for the Swift. Just over half of all the AM’s have now signed up as part of the scheme.

Fungi are crucially important as nature’s decomposers and the colourful displays of waxcap fungi on our grasslands in the autumn is very much under threat. We need farmers, planners and politicians to ensure that they are not lost forever.

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Waxcaps of Wales

Engaging people across Wales to raise awareness of these fungi and developing the next generation of field mycologists.

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