Conservation honour for Capital professor’s fungi work

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A LEADING mycologist who has spent more than six decades studying the importance of fungi has won a top conservation prize.

Professor Roy Watling MBE, from Edinburgh, was honoured in the Outstanding Contribution to Nature category at the recent RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards.

Having started as a schoolboy naturalist and ending on his retirement as Head of Mycology & Plant Pathology, Professor Watling was recognised for a lifetime of inspiring and educating the public, conservation organisations and policy makers.

On receiving his award, Professor Watling said: “Fungi make the work go round; we must conserve them or fail future generations.”

RSPB’s inaugural Nature of Scotland Awards were a celebration of nature conservation in Scotland, recognising success stories and outstanding achievements made to protect and conserve our natural heritage. Winners across the six categories were announced at a special award ceremony at the Balmoral Hotel.

Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: “We hope the standard set today will encourage many others across the whole country to follow suit.

“Nature cannot thrive in the future by just applying rules and regulation, it is when people enthusiastically step up and go the extra mile that something special can happen.”