British truffle

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
May 14, 2019

Climate change could boost UK truffle production

Dr Paul Thomas visits one of our Scottish truffle plantations to discuss the impact of climate change and how this could dramatically reduce truffle production in southern Europe, though actually benefit UK truffle farming. The Scottish site is now in its second year of truffle production.
November 23, 2018

Climate change predicted to seriously impact Mediterranean truffle production

A research collaboration between Dr Paul Thomas (Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd and University of Stirling) and Professor Ulf Büntgen (University of Cambridge) has been published this week in the influential academic journal, Science of The Total Environment. The research, led by Dr Thomas, is the first study to consider the future threat of climate change on European truffle production. The research summarises that the warmer and drier climate predicted in the traditional Mediterranean truffle producing regions of France, Spain and Italy will be responsible for the decline and could be accelerated by other factors, such as heatwaves, drought, forest fires, pests and diseases. Though the research suggests a more favourable climate for truffle production in the north and east of Europe, the decline in the traditional production regions will have a huge economic, ecological and social impact.
November 5, 2018

New Grower Seminars – Scotland – November 28th 2018

Are you based in Scotland and interested in learning more about truffle cultivation on your land? Dr Thomas will be delivering a seminar in Angus aimed at farmers and landowners who are considering diversification. The seminar will be held during the evening of Wednesday 28th November in Alyth, Angus and for more information please send an enquiry through our contact page.
October 16, 2018

Scottish Rural Innovators Awards – Shortlist

We’ve been shortlisted for an award: for bringing successful truffle cultivation to Scotland and the potential this has for boosting the region’s economy. The winner is decided by public vote. You can read more and vote (hopefully!) on the SRA’s website , we very much appreciate your support. Thank you!