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Fungus Conservation Trust Formerly The Association of British Fungus Groups • View topic - Opening a new debate
Page 3 of 4

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:22 am
by admin
Several useful points from Neil. SSSI rules are pretty clear, public access or no public access, the flora and fauna on the site are subject to the same strict protection. If you walk a public footpath that crosses an SSSI and knowingly damage or remove living material without authority you are liable to prosecution. Otherwise there would be little point in having an SSSI that included public access, and to have to bar the public from enjoying SSSIs crossed by public footpaths in order to protect them against minority foraging interests would be very sad.

The problem with NE at the moment is that it seems to be in such a state of flux that it is difficult to know who in authority this issue should be addressed to. But I take your point and it is worth pursuing. Let's see first how this forum progresses.

MJ

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 11:18 am
by GeoffDann

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 11:30 am
by GeoffDann
So where, according to the people here, is it acceptable for me to go looking for fungi to eat? I rather suspect that the answer is "your own garden", and that means even if I'm collecting purely for my own consumption. What about foraging on commons? "Common" means common. This is land which has historically been owned by and used by the common people...for grazing their animals, for collecting wood for burning, etc... What about fungi growing by the side of a country lane? Is picking those depriving passing car-drivers of enjoying the fungi?

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:18 pm
by Leif Goodwin

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:36 pm
by Neil
Geoff,

Earlier on you gave us the impression you are a conservationist - that is evidently not the case.

You have now said "Generally I do not take from SSSI's" and obviously the term Nature Reserve means nothing to you so you DO pillage in both these areas.

I think you've said enough Geoff.

Neil.
PS. Do you have any commoners rights handed down to you ? If not, you are not a commoner and have NO right to take anything from the common.
All common land is now classed as Open Access land, certain rules and regulations apply to protect them and at certain times of the year there may be restrictions on access.

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 3:56 pm
by admin
One of the many pertinent reasons why the ABFG will not go down the road of Creative Commons Licensing, recently adopted by the BMS, is highlighted by this discussion. The details of place names and grid references are only available to registered users of the CATE database and these people are carefully screened. If anybody has been following the frenetic interest on another wildlife forum of contributors desperate to learn where morels, St George's Mushroom, Chicken of the Woods and so on are emerging, they will perhaps understand why the Association adopts this policy.

The ABFG is beginning to assemble quantities of data from Ebernoe Common on CATE and the Sussex WT would, I believe, have a right for serious complaint if we were to broadcast to the public at large which fungi appear, where and when, on the Common.

Times have changed. When I was a kid, my mother would think nothing of going out to woods near our home in springtime and collecting a basket of wild daffodils, or bluebells, or primroses, to stick in a vase on the windowsill for a few days until they wilted and died. "Well it's not doing any harm! It's only picking the flowers!" Today such activity is unacceptable, anti-social, and rightly so. Fungi largely 'fell out of the loop' because they were not well enough represented by field enthusiasts and conservationists, but that is now thankfully changing, albeit slowly.

To my mind, the trendy 'food for free' fad has a kind a kind of romantic ring with very little credence or justification in modern, over-populated Britain where our countryside is under increasing threat. The 'Ray Mears' way of self-sufficiency may appear glam on TV, but is totally irrelevant to present day realities. The great majority of so-called edible wild fungi have very little taste to them, and virtually no nutritional value. But even with those that are tasty, like Chanterelles and Ceps, for foragers to go out on an autumn morning and strip a whole bank of golden Chanterelles, a Beechwood of Ceps, or a pretty carpet of Laccaria amethystina, is difficult to separate from mindless self-indulgence, because it deprives others of the delight of just looking at, and appreciating the beauty of a fascinating and too often maligned aspect of nature.

The Mushroom Foraging page of the River Cottage website includes a photograph of a car boot piled high with what look to be Macrolepiota species, I would guess there to be at least 100 fruit bodies. Further down the page is a vast pile of Laccaria amethystina that must have included well in excess of that quantity, yet the species is virtually tasteless from a culinary viewpoint. At the bottom left of the same page is a photo that seems to belie John Wright's personal assertion to me that, "On each of our four visits to LC last year week we picked less than one basket of fungi between the 27 people there."

MJ

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:35 pm
by GeoffDann

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 4:57 pm
by GeoffDann

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 5:54 pm
by Neil
................ or the equivalent of a determined twitcher trampling all over the farmers crops to see a rare bird only to succeed in frightening it away preventing others from seeing it.

By the way, you have not been misquoted Geoff, I have only referred to what you wanted us to believe.

Neil.

Re: Opening a new debate

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 6:55 pm
by Leif Goodwin