THE moment one of Scotland’s top botanists ended up on his bottom during a jungle expedition has been shared by mischievous colleagues.
Richard Baines, curator of the Logan Botanic Garden, was trying to climb a muddy slope in Vietnam when disaster struck.
The 50-year-old gives a high-pitched scream and slides backwards for several feet before landing heavily in the mud.
After making sure Richard was OK, his colleagues did the next most obvious thing – and put the footage on social media.
The garden in Port Logan, Wigtownshire, is part of the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh and Richard’s job involves trips to exotic foreign locations.
The Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh shared the video with the caption: “Oops! The perils of a modern day plant explorer as experienced by Logan Botanic Garden Curator, Richard Baines, in Vietnam.”
The five-second clip starts as Richard, dressed in a blue jacket, trousers and hiking boots, begins to slide backwards in the wet mud.
Laughter can be heard from behind the camera as Richard bravely battles to stay upright, holding his arm in the air with his walking pole outstretched, in scenes reminiscent of 1970’s film, Saturday Night Fever.
Richard slides for at least a metre, before he starts to turn and topple over. His colleague further up the hill, who has managed to regain his footing, asks: “You okay?”
However, by this point it’s too late, as Richard’s feet finally give way from underneath him before he takes a sore looking landing into his midriff on the muddy bank beside the road.
His face lands in some bushes before the momentum carries him over onto his front as his fellow climber again asks: “You okay?”, to which Richard bravely replies: “Yes,” despite the heavy fall.
Speaking about his mountain misfortune, Richard said: “We were on a plant exploration trip to Northern Vietnam to research the local area as a lot of their plant life is disappearing.
“As you can see in the clip, much of the land there has eroded, it was pure mud where we were.
“The fall was one of those things. We’ve all been there. As soon as I lost control, my colleague from Glasgow got his camera out to record.
“It was all in good humour though. It was a really precarious spot. You’re halfway up the side of the mountain and really at one with the nature around you.”
The Botanic Garden’s Facebook followers were quick to respond to the botanist’s misfortune.
One user commented: “Ouch! But quite good score for style points!”
Another wrote: “Take care of yourselves, you don’t want lily limps!”
Whilst one added: “That could be me!! Oops, there goes mum into the bushes!”
Richard has been the curator at Logan Botanic Gardens for nearly ten years and has completed the three-year “Kew Diploma” with honours, a renowned qualification in botanical horticulture.
He was formerly Head of Horticulture at Glasgow City council before becoming curator at the gardens in 2007.