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Fungi fun at The Leasowes

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Wardens at The Leasowes in Halesowen have released a new leaflet detailing the nature reserve’s rare and extensive fungi collection ahead of UK Fungus Day tomorrow (3 October).

The free online leaflet reveals some of the outstanding fungi that can be seen at The Leasowes, which is home to one of the richest waxcap grasslands and contains several internationally rare species.

Fields at The Leasowes date back to the 18th century, when they formed part of William Shenstone’s ornamented farm landscape and neighbouring Webb’s Green Farm. They have a long history of consistent management through grazing and hay cutting without any agricultural improvement.

These traditional practices reduce nutrients and control course grasses and scrub, providing the opportunity for a large assemblage of grassland plants and fungi to develop and thrive.

The leaflet provides visitors with a guide of where to find and how to identify the species. In total, 29 species of waxcap have been recorded at The Leasowes, any grassland with 19 species or more is considered nationally important.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm, said:

The Leasowes is renowned across the region for its beautiful bluebells in spring and precious wildlife throughout the year but people often overlook the extensive fungi, which is often at its best around this time of year.
I hope this free leaflet will inspire nature lovers to take a closer look at some of the amazing fungi species that we have at the nature reserve, which plays an important role in preserving the natural habitat of the green space.

People can find out more about UK Fungus Day, which includes lots of online talks, lectures, activities and publications, at www.ukfungusday.co.uk/

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