If you go down to the Bute Community Forest woods...

Some of the species discovered on the fungi foray in Bute Community Forest at Rhubodach.
Some of the species discovered on the fungi foray in Bute Community Forest at Rhubodach.

Fungi expert and truffle grower Doctor Paul Thomas recently led more than 40 people on a foray into Bute Community Forest at Rhubodach.

Those on the event last month discovered an amazing array of finds, which were identified and discussed after a wander through the conifer wood.

Dr. Paul Thomas , fungi expert and truffle grower , recently led a very successful foray into Bute Community Forest at Rhubodach  which over 40 people attended.

Dr. Paul Thomas , fungi expert and truffle grower , recently led a very successful foray into Bute Community Forest at Rhubodach which over 40 people attended.

Dr Thomas explained why he decided to hold this recent free event at Rhubodach.

He said: “There were some requests on the Isle of Bute Facebook page for this, because they wanted to know more about mushrooms.

“So I said I would look into it. I spoke to Wood Watch at Mount Stuart and we put this free event on.

“I thought there would only be like five of us because it’s quite a niche thing. But there was about 40 people there.

“Due to the enthusiasm shown I would like to do what I can to support people that want to learn about that area of biology.”

Dr Thomas explained more about what this inaugural fungi foray into the woods entailed.

He said: “We did a talk at the beginning about mushrooms then we went into the woods and collected different species. We went for about three hours in the wood.

“Once we brought all the collections back there was a lot of discussions in detail about what we found.

“We spoke about their different uses, and what is rare and what is not.

“We found a really good range. Some of them are not very well known. For example, we found at least two different species that you can use for dying cotton wool.

“It was a good and interesting range we discovered.”

Dr Thomas was delighted with the turnout of people from the local community.

He said: “We had a really big range of people come along of all ages.

“There were a lot of kids which was great. A really good mix of ages really. From toddlers to pensioners.”

If you would like to volunteer your own expertise and guide a walk, contact Jessica Herriot @gmail.com for more details about how you can help.