In common with, probably, many people I belong to a number of Facebook groups. In my case a fair few are foraging, botany, herb and holistic related along with raw food as you may expect.
Today (7 November 2016) a member of a mushroom foraging group here in the UK posted that they had spotted a Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) locally to them and had been back to check it today to find it had been harvested and only a small amount left behind.
So why this post?
Lion’s Mane is a protected species of fungus in the wild.Information on the building of the Red List is available here. And more information specific to this species is here. Full list of protected species is here.
Whoever harvested this species is, to be frank, at best irresponsible as this species is protected by law.
This fungus is available from suppliers who cultivate it for the market and it is possible to buy plugs for home cultivation.
While we have retain a right to forage which is enshrined in law (Theft Act 1968 and The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981) and some organisations happily allow foraging on their land for personal use this is tempered by the need to act responsibly where species are rare. A look through any guide or id book will indicate which species should not be picked for this reason. The assumption is also that whatever is harvested without uprooting is for personal use and not for commercial sale or gain.
Irresponsible foraging and removal of plants puts our right to forage at risk.
And if you don’t know what it is take photos. Better yet buy a guidebook and take it with you. Not everything out there is edible more than once.