Clyde and Argyll Fungus Group
When in 1813 Thomas Hopkirk published a botanical study of Glasgow and the lower Clyde valley titled "Flora Glottiana" he included details of 99 species of macrofungi and a further 10 microfungi: a remarkable achievement for a self-taught enthusiast with little access to the limited literature of his day and apparently working alone (it was only later that he met the great W.J. Hooker). Seventy years later the "Glasgow Boys", not in this case the famous artistic school but a group of mycophiles who virtually turned the Glasgow Natural History Society into their own personal mushroom club for thirty years, greatly admired Hopkirk and would toast his memory at the fungi feasts which frequently followed their autumnal excursions! Then, for nearly a century, our area has only been studied by a few scattered individuals on an ad hoc basis, there have been one or two publications but no consistent, coordinated effort... until now! The Glasgow Boys (and Girls!) are back! To Hopkirk!
This group was launched at the end of April 2010 to serve Ayrshire and the Clyde Isles, Argyll, the Glasgow metropolitan area and its surrounding shires: Lanark, Renfrew, Dunbarton and Stirling. At our inaugural meeting in December 2009 we noted that the members of many UK fungus groups were "getting on a bit" and that these groups would decline in the coming decades unless they took steps to redress the issue. We determined that we should seek to appeal to as wide an age-group as possible. In the main Autumn season we propose to divide our forays into two, with one group consisting of experienced and improving mycologists heading off to do some serious science while the other group consisting of beginners will be welcomed to the exciting world of fungi with a look at their importance in the ecosystem, an introduction to their many uses and, not least, their collection as groceries destined for the frying pan! It is planned that the two parties should convene at the end of the day to debrief, hopefully over a jar or two in a nearby hostelry! In addition to a full programme of forays and indoor workshops, we propose to organise smaller excursions by mountain bike to explore those tricky hectads with no roads as well as sorties by kayak to access remote lochsides and wooded islands which have never seen a mycologist before! Oh, and we also decided that membership should be free, with this situation to be reviewed at each AGM. If you like people and are interested in fungi then this is the group for you!