215 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations
A National Treasure: Dawyck: Its Fungal Heritage covers the history of Dawyck, a long established formal garden in the Borders of Scotland, from the Ice Age to the present time, emphasising the plant introductions and interweaving them with the fungi to be found there. What fungi are and why we should study them is exemplified by the myco-diversity study conducted over the seventeen years at Heron Wood within Dawyck policies. The fungi associated with individual tree introductions are discussed along with those fungi found in a wide range of habitats characterising the botanic garden from mushrooms, toadstools and brackets to lichens, dung fungi, aquatic fungi and parasitic fungi. The influence of these fungi on the communities is emphasised, stressing how conservation should be encouraged and opportunities for inspiration and education offered by the mycological heritage in the garden. A National Treasure: Dawyck: Its Fungal Heritage is supported by diagrams and photographs, and, for those visiting the Garden, a map with locations of possible sightings is presented.
"[...] Given the difficulties of publishing books of this kind, one should not be too critical about presentation. All the same, an index would have been useful, and so, too, would a contents page. The map is primitive. A letter granting permission to print a modest little poem is printed in full. The weak binding seems likely to shed pages. Even so, this book is a treat for field mycologists and at a very reasonable price."
– Peter Marren, British Wildlife 26(6), August 2015
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Roy Watling MBE, PhD, DSc., RSE, C. Biol., F.S Biol. was former head of mycology and plant pathology and acting Regius Keeper during the 2000 interregnum at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. He was awarded an MBE for services to mycology, the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Patrick Neill Medal for scientific contributions, and the Smart Award of Plantlife for activities in fungal conservation. He recently received the nature of Scotland Outstanding Contribution Award, sponsored by the Scottish Natural Heritage and organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. He is a former president of the British Mycological Society, the Botanical Society of Edinburgh (now Scotland) and Yorkshire Naturalist's Union and a former chairman of the Scottish branch of the then Institute of Biology. He is an honorary member of the American and German Mycological Societies, and honorary life member of the North American Mycological Association and a corresponding member of the Dutch Mycological Society. He is presently a councillor for the International Society of Fungal Conservation. He was born in London in 1938, but spent his early life as an evacuee in Halifax, Yorkshire, where he was formally educated before moving to Sheffield. Here he gained a first degree in Botany at Sheffield University in 1961 and later in 1981, his DSc. His PhD was awarded by the University of Edinburgh in 1965. He is the author of several academic and popular publications and manuals, including fifteen articles covering aspects of Dawyck. He has made many contributions to government consultations and to NGOs, and a range of media. He has travelled extensively abroad, where his expertise is regularly called upon, especially in South East Asia. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife Elizabeth; they have two children, Christopher and Lisa.