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Fungus Conservation Trust Formerly The Association of British Fungus Groups • View topic - New Forest Fungi picking ban: FC vs Forager's Association
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New Forest Fungi picking ban: FC vs Forager's Association

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:39 pm
by GeoffDann

Re: New Forest Fungi picking ban: FC vs Forager's Associatio

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:47 pm
by Leif Goodwin
Geoff

You made some good points in your article, and made a quite reasonable argument.

I have witnessed picking in Witley Common, in Surrey, where large groups of people pick every mushroom in sight, then an 'expert' sorts them out, taking the edibles, and leaving the rest. I've seen them leave huge piles of rotting fungi. This is dplorable behaviour. Yes they do denude the area of macro-fungi. My concern is exactly the one that you express, that picking large quantities may well prevent the fungus from spreading to new habitats far away. Fungi produce so many spores because most will land on an unsuitable substrate.

I have not seen this industrial hoovering up of fungi in the New Forest, but I suspect it goes on.

The question that I would like answered is what difference will this make. Clearly they were not enforcing the 1.5 Kg per person limit, so why will they now enforce this new ban? Or will it make it easier to bring prosecutions, as there is no longer a burden on them to prove the person was exceeding the limit.

Re: New Forest Fungi picking ban: FC vs Forager's Associatio

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:22 pm
by GeoffDann
I've just written a much longer 2000 word post explaining why I think the Forestry Commission is wrong. Doesn't make the Forager's Association's ropey arguments any less ropey though.

http://www.geoffdann.co.uk/?p=1731

As far as the "gangs of illegal pickers" are concerned - the argument between the FC and the FoA misses the point. The FoA say they don't believe it happens, the FC have banned all picking in an attempt to stop it. But hold on a moment...these illegal pickers have already decided to blatantly break the law. Are they going to stop doing it because the FC have banned previously-legal personal picking?? Of course not. All this ban will achieve is for there to be more fungi left for the illegal pickers to pick and sell.

RE: the legal situation - a lot of people are claiming that the FC don't have any power to enforce the ban. They aren't even threatening to prosecute. Offenders will be asked to "return the mushrooms to the forest."

Re: New Forest Fungi picking ban: FC vs Forager's Associatio

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:13 pm
by Leif Goodwin
Many years ago I would see little vans marked "New Forest Mushroom Company" or something similar. When the ban on largescale commercial picking came in, these vans disappeared. So yes, the ban or limit had an affect. Whether it will prevent large scale picking by 'gangs', I know not. My guess is not, since commercial picking is banned at Witley Common, but it goes on regardless.

Re: New Forest Fungi picking ban: FC vs Forager's Associatio

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:00 pm
by GeoffDann
Turns out the ban isn't a ban. I had a long conversation with a reporter from Radio 4 today, who had just interviewed the head of the Forestry Commission. The ban is voluntary. The FC have no legal power to enforce it (unlike in Epping Forest). In other words, everybody is free to ignore it and there is no meaningful sanction the FC can respond with.

Re: New Forest Fungi picking ban: FC vs Forager's Associatio

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:15 am
by Roy Miller
Well, that no doubt will please a few