Lichens of Wales

Strategy and action plan for the conservation of lower plants and fungi in Wales

Wales supports an extraordinary diversity of lower plants and fungi. Despite occupying only 10% of the total land area of the British Isles, it supports 75% of the total diversity of mosses and liverworts, 74% of the lichens and 80% of the rust fungi.

This strategy for the conservation of Wales’ lower plants and fungi outlines 15 targets with 45 actions to be completed by 2015. Importantly, it assesses what needs to be done to meet the targets and whether the action is of short, medium or longterm priority. It is an ambitious yet achievable list and, if undertaken,will lead to significant progress in the conservation of lower plants and fungi in Wales.

This strategy makes an important national contribution to meeting the targets of the Welsh Biodiversity Strategy, the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, the 2010 target of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy and Plant Diversity Challenge – the UK's response to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. The Global Strategy rightly considered the vast importance of plant species in biodiversity – not only the vascular plants that are easy to see and recognize, but also fungi, lichens and the lower plants such as mosses, liverworts and algae.They are essential to the operation of our ecosystems, the structure of our soils and for services to mankind in food, clothing and medicine.

Plant Link Cymru (PLINKC), whose members include experts in lichens, mosses, liverworts, fungi, freshwater and marine algae, as well as leading non-government organisations and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), produced this strategy.

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