Rare fungi found in Welsh Country Park

The rare Lepiota grangei was spotted during a Fungal Foray walk led by fungi expert David Mitchel and Wardens from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority at Craig-y-nos Country Park, Penycae. 


The identification test results are now in and show that the exciting find of this unique species is only the second in Welsh history, after the Lepiota grangei was located in Anglesey back in 2004.


Craig-y-nos Country Park is owned and managed by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, and is home to 40 acres of scenic woodland and countryside. This recent discovery is testament to the rich biodiversity of the site, which attracts around 100,000 visitors every year.


Fungi expert David Mitchel said of the find: “Lepiota grangei is a very distinctive species with a green blue cap covered in lots of small scales. It was found by a family on the public foray I was leading near the pond in the Country Park last month, and I knew immediately that I had not seen it before. When I got back home I looked at it under the microscope and went through my books, and it clearly came out as this species. I contacted all the local records centres in Wales and looked up the Fungus Records Database for the British Isles, all of which showed that it had only been found once before in Wales.


“It is a poisonous species, which does go to show that it is always important to carefully identify any fungus you are thinking of eating.”


Bradley Welch, Senior Ecologist and Climate Adaption Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, said: “It’s very exciting that this species has been re-discovered in Wales, and right here in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.  What’s equally encouraging is to see people out alongside species experts enjoying the wonders of the National Park.  It’s a benefit to science, it’s a benefit for the people who live here and visit here, and it’s a benefit for biodiversity.  That gets at the core of what National Parks are all about.”


Mrs Margaret Underwood, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Member Champion for Biodiversity and Climate Change, added: “I am always bowled over by the wonderful variety of biodiversity within our borders. This little gem of a find is just one example of how much we still have to discover.”


For more information about Craig-y-nos Country Park visit www.breconbeacons.org, call 01639 730395 or email cyncp@breconbeacons.org.