A fungus believed to be extinct in Wales has been re-discovered on colliery spoil in south Wales. Cudoniella tenuispora was last recorded in Wales in 1958 and was believed to have become ‘extinct’ due to a long absence of records for the species. Emma Williams of Glamorgan Fungus Group discovered Cudoniella tenuispora growing on pine cones (Pinus spp.) near the famous Tower Colliery, Hirwaun.
Tower Colliery operated from the early 19th century to 2008, making it the oldest continuously working deep-coal mine in the United Kingdom. Tower Colliery was the last deep mine to close in the south Wales valleys.
Specimens of Cudoniella tenuispora have now been sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) for DNA sequencing for inclusion into the Genbank (a DNA sequence repository) and Kew’s Fungarium.
Colliery Spoil Biodiversity Initiative