Hampshire & Isle of Wight

National Trust criticises New Forest mushroom pickers

Penny Bun mushroom, Boletus edulis
Image caption Staff at the National Trust say the mushrooms should be enjoyed by everyone

People picking large quantities of mushrooms in the New Forest have been criticised by the National Trust.

The charity's Countryside Team has discovered large parts of its land completely cleared of edible mushrooms.

It says commercial picking is spoiling the enjoyment of regular visitors to its land.

Volunteer Roger Newton said: "Not only was every single edible mushroom taken or cut, just leaving the stalk, but the ground had been badly trampled."

He added: "Taking mushrooms like this stops the fruiting bodies ability to release its millions of spores each day and the trampling compresses the ground, damaging the places where they like to grow.

'Spoiling enjoyment'

"There is also the danger that someone gathering mushrooms in this quantity could take poisonous varieties, with dire consequences for those eating them."

The National Trust is the second largest landowner in the New Forest, with 2,400 hectares (5,900 acres) on five different sites.

Lee Hulin, an outdoor ranger, said: "Our commons are there for everybody, so we are increasingly saddened that large scale harvesting limits the chance of seeing these lovely mushrooms for regular visitors.

"This sort of plundering is spoiling enjoyment for everyone."

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