NEWS

Prof. Paul Thomas (our Managing Director) has appeared on several TV programmes, radio shows and in many written articles. Specific areas of expertise include the biology, cultivation, hunting and cooking methods of the wide range of truffle species. If you would like an interview or require information for an article then please use our contact form and we would be very happy to help.

Below, our most recent news articles are displayed and our back-catalogue is open for browsing.

August 8, 2018

Huge Early Harvest for South African Orchard

Whilst a heatwave hits large parts of the northern hemisphere, it’s winter truffle season in the south. Last weekend, during the first ‘hunt’ of one of our Southern African truffle orchards a total of 40 black winter (Périgord) truffles were found including one 380g monster (click through for pictures)! We have some great projects in South Africa and a number of plantations are now in production with a total of three different truffle species. Production at 5 years is young for a plantation but these results again highlight the importance of checking your trees for signs of truffles from quite early on.
July 23, 2018

BBC Radio 4 On Your Farm – How to Farm Truffles

Ruth Sanderson meets a truffle farmer on the Isle of Bute, just off the west coast of southern Scotland. Truffle expert Dr Paul Thomas is planting the first truffle plantation on the island, in joint venture with sheep farmer Ian Dickson. Ruth helps to plant hazel trees which have been inoculated with the truffle fungus, and hears how they hope to reap a profitable harvest within at least six years.
July 23, 2018

Scottish Daily Mail – Scotland’s locally grown truffles in demand

The Scottish Daily Mail accompanied Dr Thomas to a truffle plantation near Edinburgh, one of our growing partner plantations now producing our native summer truffle. The article considers the secrecy around truffle growing, the future of the Scottish truffle industry, truffle dog training and hunting (sneak peak – you don’t need an expensive breed!) and the burgeoning demand for local produce.
January 18, 2018

Free New Grower Seminars – Feb 5th & 8th 2018

We are holding two seminars aimed at those interested in learning about truffle cultivation. These are free to attend and focus on what truffles are, how to cultivate them, the wider truffle market and details of our partnership offer – they are ideally suited for those interested in learning about whether truffle cultivation is for them and for people who have already been in talks with us to meet us face to face. The seminars will be informal with questions from attendees encouraged. Venues are start times are yet to be confirmed but we will be in central Glasgow on February 5th, starting around 1.30 pm and in central Birmingham on February 8th, starting around 2 pm. Please contact us at shop@plantationsystems.com if you’d like to attend one of these seminars and we’ll send out full details.
January 3, 2018

Edinburgh Evening News – Burgundy truffles cultivated in Scotland for first time

One of the world’s most expensive ingredients has been cultivated near Edinburgh after a sever-year wait. Researchers from Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd teamed up with local farmers to cultivate the summer or burgundy truffle. This is the first time the ingredient has been successfully cultivated in Scotland. Researchers believe the potential to cultivate truffles is increasing as a result of climate change. Click through for the full article from Edinburgh Evening News reporter David Bol.
January 3, 2018

Scotland’s First Cultivated Truffles – another success for Mycorrhizal Systems

We  have successfully cultivated the summer or burgundy black truffle, one of the world’s most expensive ingredients, as part of our partnership programme just south of Edinburgh: the first time this has ever been achieved in Scotland. This latest development follows a recent report in the journal Climate Research, suggesting that truffle cultivation potential in the UK is increasing as a result of climate change. In November a number of truffles were harvested by a newly trained dog, Maxwell, on the root system of an inoculated oak tree and further microscopic analysis confirmed that Maxwells’s find was indeed a summer or burgundy truffle (Tuber aestivum syn. uncinatum). The site continued to produced throughout November and December confirming that the site was firmly in production.  
December 6, 2017

The Telegraph: The Welsh farm growing one of the world’s rarest delicacies – the Perigord truffle

In November Dr Thomas met with The Telegraph’s Boudicca Fox-Leonard to discuss how a small village in South Wales became home to the first black winter Perigord truffles to be found north of France.
December 6, 2017

BBC Radio 4 You & Yours – Shari Vahl hunts the first UK Perigord truffles with us

In November Dr Thomas met with Shari Vahl from BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme to discuss Mycorrhizal Systems’ cultivation of the Black winter Perigord truffle on our partner site in South Wales – this is the first time the valuable truffle has been found north of France and is related to changing climatic conditions. Shari visits the plantation in Wales that is now producing both summer and winter truffle varieties.
December 6, 2017

Epigenetics: advanced truffle research 

In October we welcomed our new PhD candidate, Philip Schuler, to the Mycorrhizal Systems team.  Supervised by ourselves and Prof. Ganesan at the University of East Anglia, Philip is working on a new field in truffle research: the effect of epigenetic and morphogenetic modulators on truffle cultivation under model laboratory conditions. In essence, we have compounds which change how genes are expressed with the aim of looking for important modulators for truffle growth and fruiting. The aim is to eventually develop practical applications that can be applied to the orchards of our grower partners. This is a really exciting project and encompasses a range of experimental systems. Philip has been on several orchards already, collecting samples and has already got quite deep into lab work. Click through for some stunning images Philip has taken of the truffle fungus growing in association with the plant partner (Tuber aestivum).
  • Samantha Ellis

    From guidance in orchard establishment, tree supply and management to our own truffle distribution network, we've got all angles covered

    Samantha Ellis
    Business Development
  • Dr Paul Thomas

    Thorough and scientific methodologies, attention to detail and having a committed partner at every step of the way, is the only reliable approach to truffle cultivation

    Dr Paul Thomas
    General Director
  • Daniel Paskin

    With our own genetics lab and research sites in 23 countries, we are truly world-leading in the field

    Daniel Paskin
    Nursery Manager
August 8, 2019

National Geographic – New research confirms that truffle harvests are affected by rainfall patterns

The National Geographic have produced an excellent article focusing on a recent study into rainfall levels and how these effect truffle harvests; it’s particularly important as climate change is dramatically affecting the truffle industry. We’re often asked how important rainfall levels are for truffle cultivation and whether irrigation is required, both for the truffle trees and for the truffles themselves. We’ve had a good understanding of this for many years and know that both trees and truffles like a moderate amount of rainfall with a disbursement across the year. The climate in the UK, Ireland and across most of mid and eastern Europe is ideal for good tree and truffle growth and additional irrigation isn’t typically required on truffle plantations. However, new research published by Prof. Ulf Büntgen of Cambridge University is revealing that the timing of when rainfall occurs in a particular year is also a key factor in […]
June 27, 2019

CLA Summit 2019: Climate Change – Risk or Opportunity?

As part of our wider commitment to developing the UK’s agricultural and forestry sectors, Dr Thomas will be presenting at the CLA’s 2019 Summit, held on July 2nd 2019 at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. The topic for discussion this year is ‘Climate Change – Risk or Opportunity’ and will be presented by business leaders, academics and industry experts. The aim of the summit is to arm landowners with the facts around climate change and to highlight how to adapt and build in resilience to existing business whilst exploring future opportunities. As part of the expert line up, Dr Thomas will be presenting an overview of his recent research into climate change, co-authored with Prof Büntgen of Cambridge University, and how this is expected to affect forestry both in the UK and globally.
June 12, 2019

World leaders in truffle farming technology, based in…Lancashire, England!

Truffles have been harvested for the first time on another of Mycorrhizal Systems' truffle growing partner sites in the UK.
June 5, 2019

Early truffle harvest on the newest UK truffle farm

Truffles have been harvested for the first time on another of Mycorrhizal Systems' truffle growing partner sites in the UK.