Fungi are organisms vital to the life of the planet. Many fungi live in the soil and the mushrooms you see are the fruiting bodies of what may be a vast underground network – like the fruit on a tree.
Recent DNA analysis has shown fungi to be closer to animals than plants – so they are now put in a kingdom of their own. Fungi are also very important for many plants – some of which, particularly orchids) only grow if a specific fungus is present in the ground.
Mosses & Liverworts (Bryophytes)
Flitwick Moor is the most important site in the region for Mosses and Liverworts.
135 species of Bryophytes (109 mosses and 26 liverworts) are found here. Few of these plants have English names. This is over 10% of the total British Moss and Liverwort flora for this small area.
(The only other site in the region that approaches this total is Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, with 115 recorded mosses and liverworts, yet it is over ten times the size of Flitwick Moor.)
Ten species of Sphagnum (bog mosses) are found at the Moor. No other site in this region approaches this number.
For very many mosses and liverworts this is the only site in the region.
Alan R Outen, County Recorder for Bryophytes