The family of a peninsula botanist whose body is believed to have been found in Vietnam have paid a heartfelt tribute to him.

Jamie Taggart, 41, from Cove, failed to return from a plant-hunting trip in the northern mountainous region of the country in November 2013.

His father Jim, 80, said a body had been found in the area he went missing - along with Jamie's bank card, fire brigade pass and a passport photograph.

Formal identification is still to take place, and there is protocol to follow before Jamie's body can be brought back to Britain, although Jim said the idea it could be someone else was "pretty far fetched".

Jim said: "The items found are things he would have with him, and that is the extent of the confirmation we have at this point.

"He must have died fairly soon after he was last seen - which was a month before we knew he was missing.

"The Vietnamese police require an autopsy, because the body is unidentifiable.

"We don't have a timeline for when we will be able to bring him home."

Jim said the Foreign Office has said Jamie is likely to have slipped on the hill, and that there was "nothing suspicious" about his death.

He said: "He was where he had said he was going - his last text said he was going to do the higher ground he hadn't seen.

"They were searching in the right general area, and they did not go up high enough.

"The hills are wooded and there's bamboo and it's difficult to see.

"It's just very sad."

Jamie's sister Janet also spoke to the Advertiser, paying tribute to her brother.

She said: "When I first heard I was just shocked, you hope for the best, and although you already sort of knew, it still comes as a shock.

"My brother was a lovely, kind man. He was just a gentleman.

"He would do anything for anyone. He enjoyed his work and he enjoyed his life.

"I'm very proud of what he has done here."

Speaking of Linn Botanic Gardens, which Jamie took over responsibility for from his father in 1997, Janet said: "It's an enchanting place to be and it's got to be preserved.

"I'll be doing my best and that's what Jamie would have wanted."

Jamie, a retained firefighter, arrived at a guest house in Sapa on 30 October 2013 and left on a motorbike taxi to explore the hills.

He had travelled to the area two years previously and was said to have known it well.

On 2 November 2013, his rucksack and passport were found at the accommodation.

Mr Taggart's father found out his son was missing when he failed to turn up for a scheduled flight home to Scotland on 29 November 2013.

The body was found last Thursday, December 17.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with local authorities in Vietnam regarding Jamie Taggart.

"This is a very difficult time for his family, and we will remain in close contact with them."