Fungi conservation society formed

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts may dismiss fungi as a pest or pay it little heed when tending to their green space.

While some can be damaging to plants or poisonous to humans, fungi should not be overlooked by conservationists, it has been claimed.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the first group for the conservation of fungi has been formed by leading mycologists from around the world.

The International Society for Fungal Conservation has attracted 50 international scientists from as far apart as Russia and South Africa.

Founding member Dr David Minter explained that many environmentalists forget about fungi in their efforts to save flora and fauna.

"Fungi have no special features making them immune to destructive human activity," the RHS reported him as saying.

"Habitat loss, climate change and pollution imperil fungi just as much as they do animals and plants."

In other news, an abandoned Italianate garden in Devon is set to be revamped by volunteers after they won a £200,000 English Heritage grant.