Fungus experts pay survey visit to Bute

Professor Bruce Ing (right), from the British Mycological Society, in conversation with local man Billy Sprowl, who took part in this week's survey of the fungi of Bute.
Professor Bruce Ing (right), from the British Mycological Society, in conversation with local man Billy Sprowl, who took part in this week's survey of the fungi of Bute.

Members of the British Mycological Society visited Bute this week to carry out the first ever detailed survey of the species of fungus living on the island.

The group of - mostly amateur - mycologists visited sites all over Bute, from Rhubodach and Mount Stuart to the Kirk Dam and the Skeoch and Bogany woods, collecting samples before taking them for analysis to a temporary laboratory at St Paul’s Church Hall in Rothesay.

BMS vice-president Professor Bruce Ing, who led the four-day-long foray, spoke to The Buteman halfway through the group’s visit and said: “We must have found at least two hundred species so far, including one new record for Britain and at least three ‘third records’ for Scotland.

“It’s been a really good week, and the locals have been magnificent.”

* More on the BMS visit to Bute in the next issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, September 20.