Chingford News

Mushroom-pickers urged not to ‘damage London’s green lungs’

Mushrooms are reportedly being illegally picked “en-masse” in Epping Forest
By Waltham Forest Echo

A mushroom haul confiscated from a forager (credit: City of London Corporation)
A mushroom haul confiscated from a forager (credit: City of London Corporation)

Illicit mushroom-pickers are being urged not to “damage the green lungs of London” by foraging in Epping Forest.

The City of London Corporation, which manages the ancient woodland that extends into the borough, says mushrooms are being “illegally picked en-masse” for sale to restaurants and markets.

In a statement to the Echo, it explained the mushrooms are vital to the health of the forest’s trees, some of which are up to 1,000 years old, as they protect their roots and provide them with water and minerals.


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It added that many of the mushrooms found in the forest are rare and endangered, while also providing a crucial food source for animals like deer and insects.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, Ben Murphy, said: “We are urging people not to pick mushrooms in Epping Forest.

 “Our job is to protect the future of this ancient woodland, which is of national and international conservation importance, and these irresponsible actions are damaging the green lungs of London.

 “We will not tolerate criminal activity in Epping Forest and we will take swift action against anyone damaging wildlife and threatening rare species.”

 Since 2014, 27 people have been prosecuted for illegal foraging, including one offender caught last year with a 49kg haul.


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