A couple of weeks ago I attended an online session organised by Plantlife about grassland and waxcap fungi.
Members of the Hygrophoraceae family, commonly known as waxcaps, are beautiful and often colourful mushrooms. They come in a rainbow of colours from bright rich scarlets and lemon yellow to purples and greens and pink. They glow like little gems in the grass. Their colours are often used in their common names, for example, pink ballerina, snowy waxcap, crimson waxcap, golden waxcap, and the colourful parrot waxcap. Perfect inspiration for storywriting!
Waxcaps can be found in gardens and grassy spaces in towns. You can also spot these stunning fungi in the countryside. Waxcaps are a indicator of species rich grassland. They are becoming rarer since they prefer old, undistrubed grassland, which stores a third of the world’s land-based carbon.
Old meadows and grassland are important in the fight against climate change. Grassland provid protection from soil erosion, carbon loss, and can encourage greater biodiversity. Often the focus is on trees when exploring nature-based solutions to climate change. But grassland can store even more carbon than forests so it is a wonderful nature-based solution in the fight against climate change.
Featured image CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15724098