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THE humble mushroom may scupper plans to build hundreds of houses on an under-threat beauty spot.
Campaigners battling to save Cardiff's Llanishen Reservoir from developers claim to have discovered evidence which could make it a site of international scientific importance.
A survey by the Reservoir Action Group (Rag) has now found 24 species of ultra-rare waxcap fungi around the reservoir's edge.
In 2003, Rag asked the Countryside Council of Wales (CCW) to look at designating Llanishen Reservoir as a Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI), effectively protecting it from any development, after finding it was home to six species of the fungi.
Rag's ecology spokesman Dr Richard Cowie claims the latest discovery would make the reservoir one of the most important waxcap sites in the UK - and put it on the international map.
He says it is more evidence plans by Llanishen Water, part of the reservoir's owners Western Power Distribution (WPD), to build 326 homes on the site should be thrown out - and that a metal fence erected around the reservoir after it was closed to the public at the start of the year should be removed.