Rare fungus found in Welsh peat bog

image copyrightNatural Resources Wales
image captionThe fen puffball has only been found five times in the UK

A rare fungus previously unseen in Wales has been found in a peat bog in Powys.

The fen puffball, or Bovista paludosa, was uncovered during a survey of the country's 200 most important bog and fen sites.

Only five examples of the fungus have ever been recorded in the UK and it is named as a UK priority conservation species.

Natural Resources Wales said peatlands delivered many hidden benefits.

Fen puffball

The puffball is found on moss cushions in fenland

It has only been previously found at a few sites in Cumbria, Yorkshire and Norfolk

Like other fungi, it produces fruiting bodies in late summer and autumn, and releases brown spores in a large cloud

Source: Natural History Museum, Encyclopaedia of Life

The puffball was found in Mynydd Epynt near Builth Wells, Powys.

Senior vegetation ecologist Sam Bosanquet said: "Whether it is regulating our river flows, storing carbon or simply as a fantastic place to visit, we have to make sure they are in good condition."

The rarity of the fen puffball reflected the lack of fen vegetation in southern Britain, he added.

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