On Fitty Hill I’m surprised to find a wonderful collection of Waxcaps. These fungi are classic inhabitants of poor, unimproved grassland and are increasingly rare with intensive agricultural methods having obliterated them in most places. They are waxy or sticky and like living in short, wet grass in association with mosses. Waxcaps need short turf which is regularly mown or grazed, no fertiliser or lime and no disturbance such as ploughing or reseeding. Where is that true nowadays? Thankfully, it’s true of Fitty Hill.

It’s difficult to identify the species because there are so many and there’s no comprehensive monograph of all the species. I’d say that there were at least three species on the Hill, though, including Hygrocybe coccinea, the beautiful Scarlet Waxcap.
A rare mushroom is a wonderful thing :)

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