Reposted from elsewhere

Is focused foraging for edible fungi justifiable?

Reposted from elsewhere

Postby GeoffDann » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:23 am

I found this last night on the "post your latest foraging trip" section of wildmushroomsonline.co.uk. That part of that board is soon to be removed because of the problems we've been having with people posting pictures of rare fungi they have picked (including a sole specimen of Amanita strobiliformis which had been ripped up in hope it was edible) and boasting about selling to restaraunts, etc... We've even been subject to spamming by outraged individuals, one of whom said "People are only interested in mushrooms because they can eat them", which kind of sums it up except for that it isn't true - some people are quite definitely interested in selling them.

Hi all,

I have been collecting wild mushrooms since childhood and have recently begun making trips into the new forest. Last year i collected a number of boletes (i go for these specifically as they are easy to identify), i fill my basket responsibly, always leaving 2 thirds the number i collect. This year i went into the forest in the usual places and quite frankly was horrified to see alot of people not only collecting in the same patches as me but pulling mushrooms from the ground in scores, bringing clumps of earth with them. These people are filling baskets with the entire contents of the woodland, with complete indescrimination!!

Being as i am not entirely familiar with the new forest and all its hidden areas and prime locations i cannot make general assumptions but it struck me with some considerable sadness that if this is the way people treat these commodities surely i will be denied the pleasure of teaching my future children about the pleasure of wild mushroom hunting! How long has this practice been taking place for?? Is it commonplace and i have never seen it before??

Sorry to rant but these questions prey upon me and i feel obliged to ask for some clarity. I know the majority of people who pick mushrooms are responsible and i have always hold these people in the highest regard. This site is a brilliant resource and long may it continue to be so.

Pete (26)


http://www.wildmushroomsonline.co.uk/fo ... ils/NzI5/1
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Re: Reposted from elsewhere

Postby Ian Knox » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:31 pm

Hello Geoff

Very interesting post on the wildmushroomsonline.co.uk. and I agree with the sentiments in your replies there, one of the first thing I do as moderator of this forum is to ask an applicant their interest in Fungi and their reason for wanting to Join this forum, this was intentionally meant to weed out spammers and has been quite succesful in doing so as many do not reply but those that do show a genuine interest.

On the other side of the coin on a busy roadside edge of a local park was a large group of A.arvensis which had not been touched yet hundreds of people must have passed them bye, they are way past there best now and have rotted away mostly, I put this down to the general population having no interest in fungi and a fear of mushrooms the point of this is to say that it is people with knowledge of fungi that are raping the country side.

As far as I am concerned as moderator any person intimating such activities or proved to be operating in such activities will be banned from this forum.

regards

Ian
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Re: Reposted from elsewhere

Postby GeoffDann » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:22 pm

Ian Knox wrote:On the other side of the coin on a busy roadside edge of a local park was a large group of A.arvensis which had not been touched yet hundreds of people must have passed them bye, they are way past there best now and have rotted away mostly, I put this down to the general population having no interest in fungi and a fear of mushrooms the point of this is to say that it is people with knowledge of fungi that are raping the country side.


I think that you are right - most of the population still don't know much about fungi and either aren't interested or are too worried about poisoning themselves to try. But there is still a growing number of people who are interested, and they are quite a different range of people. I know that from the range of people who contact me about foraging tuition. A lot of them are very much ecologically aware, but some are interested entirely from a culinary perspective and some appear to be interested only because they know they can sell certain species for a high price and think it might be an easy way to earn money. I think it is a very small minority of people who are causing a problem...it's just that it doesn't take many people for them to cause a quite a big problem compared to the amount of mushrooms there are in the heavily populated parts of the south-east and central England.

As was with some customers today and, just as described by yourself above, there were four parasol mushrooms right next to the car park where hundreds of dog-walkers must have seen them, and they had clearly been there for a while. Still perfectly edible, no maggots. And this is one of the handful of species that an absolute beginner can identify easily.
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Re: Reposted from elsewhere

Postby Dave H-Tranter » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:35 pm

Good man Geoff for posting this. Disgraceful behaviour and have seen it going on locally. Totally disrespectful to the natural world and yet again people showing their selfish fat pig desires. When leading walks I always get the edible brigade and am always reluctant to point out too much as I would hate to think they went away and did this. I always explain that if taking edibles then takes 20% and leave the rest as we need to look after the envirnment and keep the balance right. The walks I do are aimed at building an appreciation of the natural world at beginners level and hopefully encourage people to look, apprecaite, enjoy and leave alone. It is a worry though!

Fungalpunk Dave - www.fungalpunknature.co.uk
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