Epping Forest keepers say that thousands could have been charged this summer

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: 'Worst year' for foraging as 15 charged 'Worst year' for foraging as 15 charged

It is estimated that thousands of people illegally foraged for mushrooms in Epping Forest last summer as eight people are fined for the offence.

Head forest keeper Keith French said he and his colleagues regularly found people with large bags full of fungi, with the High Beech area worst affected.

The practice is banned as the forest is classified an area of special scientific interest, with many different varieties which could be threatened if regularly foraged.

Landowner City of London Corporation said it had been one of the worst years for the illegal activity.

And Mr French said he regularly witnessed large groups of people gathering to forage.

“We could have prosecuted thousands of people this summer. There were so many people picking mushrooms every single weekend,” he said.

“We try and talk to people and tell them that nothing can be taken from the Forest.

“It varies each year as if we don’t have the weather then the mushrooms will not grow.”

On Tuesday eight people were found guilty of breaking the bylaw by picking mushrooms.

Those fined £230 after pleading guilty were Ewa and Marek Krupka, of Vicarage Road in Leyton, Jadwiga Milo, of Woodland Way in Enfield. Aga and Maksymillian Kasprowicz, of Theobalds Lane in Waltham Cross, and Maciej Dolega of Sandhurst Road in Enfield.

Peotr Jaworski, of Leyland Road in Lewisham, and Tomasz Lis, of Cravan Park Road in Haringey, were convicted in their absence and each fined a total of £300.

Seven more people have been charged and are yet to stand trial.


 

Comments (6)

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5:19pm Fri 7 Feb 14

myopinioncounts says...

I wondered why a group of eastern europeans were standing around in the forest apparently doing nothing as we passed by. They were obviously waiting for us to get out of sight so they could continue 'foraging'
I wondered why a group of eastern europeans were standing around in the forest apparently doing nothing as we passed by. They were obviously waiting for us to get out of sight so they could continue 'foraging' myopinioncounts

6:03pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

myopinioncounts wrote:
I wondered why a group of eastern europeans were standing around in the forest apparently doing nothing as we passed by. They were obviously waiting for us to get out of sight so they could continue 'foraging'
Yes blame it all on the East Europeans as usual. Their Universal National Dish is Royal Fried Swan and UKIP Forage Mushrooms in a Carp Jus of course.
[quote][p][bold]myopinioncounts[/bold] wrote: I wondered why a group of eastern europeans were standing around in the forest apparently doing nothing as we passed by. They were obviously waiting for us to get out of sight so they could continue 'foraging'[/p][/quote]Yes blame it all on the East Europeans as usual. Their Universal National Dish is Royal Fried Swan and UKIP Forage Mushrooms in a Carp Jus of course. Villagecranberry

7:08pm Fri 7 Feb 14

villager1 says...

I have also noticed lots of Eastern Europeans in the forest in the autumn - it is not a question of blame but of fact - also a far number of middle aged Italian men; there is a tradition of knowing about mushrooms in these countries. Your average Britisher would not know how to identify edible mushrooms. If you are a regular forest walker you get to know the type of people walking and you quickly suss out the people who are not there for their health and enjoyment of green spaces.
I have also noticed lots of Eastern Europeans in the forest in the autumn - it is not a question of blame but of fact - also a far number of middle aged Italian men; there is a tradition of knowing about mushrooms in these countries. Your average Britisher would not know how to identify edible mushrooms. If you are a regular forest walker you get to know the type of people walking and you quickly suss out the people who are not there for their health and enjoyment of green spaces. villager1

8:05pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Techno3 says...

The particulr mushrooms you have used to illustrate this story are Amanita muscaria. Amanita muscaria is noted for its hallucinogenic properties, with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. The mushroom was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia, and has a religious significance in these cultures. It is said to be a favourite snack of reindeer in Lappland and some have speculated that this may be the inspiration for the story of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer sleigh.
The particulr mushrooms you have used to illustrate this story are Amanita muscaria. Amanita muscaria is noted for its hallucinogenic properties, with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. The mushroom was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia, and has a religious significance in these cultures. It is said to be a favourite snack of reindeer in Lappland and some have speculated that this may be the inspiration for the story of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer sleigh. Techno3

11:29am Sat 8 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

villager1 wrote:
I have also noticed lots of Eastern Europeans in the forest in the autumn - it is not a question of blame but of fact - also a far number of middle aged Italian men; there is a tradition of knowing about mushrooms in these countries. Your average Britisher would not know how to identify edible mushrooms. If you are a regular forest walker you get to know the type of people walking and you quickly suss out the people who are not there for their health and enjoyment of green spaces.
There was the case of the entire family eating poisonous mushrooms on a relatives Estate about 4 years ago whereby I think one member died and the rest needed liver transplants as a result. This is playing with fire and although free I would rather go to that big supermarket down the High St E17 and buy a sackful for about £2, sort through them as they often throw a few rancid ones in by mistake or I have seen organic ones at the Hornbeam where they use manure locally sourced to produce the most fantastic, fresh and cheap vegetatables ideal if you are on a budget. As for people in the forest up to no good it is worrying that you cannot just take a stroll without people assuming that you are partaking in dogging adventures and some people may be actually in the forest for legitimate reasons just having a walk and not wanting to pick mushrooms or looking for ladies and Gentleman's adventures. The contribution by Techno 3 is very informative and these magic mushrooms have often been used by hippies and drug addicts who cannot afford the speeds and herons. They now even as reported nationally are tearing up the hydrangeas from the OAP's gardens and smoking this as a cheaper alternative to the whacky backy. These hydrangeas are now a victim of the scaremongering by the likes of Russell Brand. Why is it that people can now not have the hydrangeas for pleasure for ones eye not smoking? People being made to feel like crooks for having a hydrangeas plant. This together with a pamper grass innocently planted in gardens now imply you are a swinging drug dealing crook, all hyped up by left wing papers.
[quote][p][bold]villager1[/bold] wrote: I have also noticed lots of Eastern Europeans in the forest in the autumn - it is not a question of blame but of fact - also a far number of middle aged Italian men; there is a tradition of knowing about mushrooms in these countries. Your average Britisher would not know how to identify edible mushrooms. If you are a regular forest walker you get to know the type of people walking and you quickly suss out the people who are not there for their health and enjoyment of green spaces.[/p][/quote]There was the case of the entire family eating poisonous mushrooms on a relatives Estate about 4 years ago whereby I think one member died and the rest needed liver transplants as a result. This is playing with fire and although free I would rather go to that big supermarket down the High St E17 and buy a sackful for about £2, sort through them as they often throw a few rancid ones in by mistake or I have seen organic ones at the Hornbeam where they use manure locally sourced to produce the most fantastic, fresh and cheap vegetatables ideal if you are on a budget. As for people in the forest up to no good it is worrying that you cannot just take a stroll without people assuming that you are partaking in dogging adventures and some people may be actually in the forest for legitimate reasons just having a walk and not wanting to pick mushrooms or looking for ladies and Gentleman's adventures. The contribution by Techno 3 is very informative and these magic mushrooms have often been used by hippies and drug addicts who cannot afford the speeds and herons. They now even as reported nationally are tearing up the hydrangeas from the OAP's gardens and smoking this as a cheaper alternative to the whacky backy. These hydrangeas are now a victim of the scaremongering by the likes of Russell Brand. Why is it that people can now not have the hydrangeas for pleasure for ones eye not smoking? People being made to feel like crooks for having a hydrangeas plant. This together with a pamper grass innocently planted in gardens now imply you are a swinging drug dealing crook, all hyped up by left wing papers. Villagecranberry

11:22am Tue 11 Feb 14

G_Whiz says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
myopinioncounts wrote:
I wondered why a group of eastern europeans were standing around in the forest apparently doing nothing as we passed by. They were obviously waiting for us to get out of sight so they could continue 'foraging'
Yes blame it all on the East Europeans as usual. Their Universal National Dish is Royal Fried Swan and UKIP Forage Mushrooms in a Carp Jus of course.
Yes you are right Cranberry - Just because they all have Eastern European names it doesn't mean they are Eastern European!

Anyway even if they are - we should let them do what they want, they have come a long way and least we can do is let them on protected land and forage or eat a few Carp.

Solidarność!
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]myopinioncounts[/bold] wrote: I wondered why a group of eastern europeans were standing around in the forest apparently doing nothing as we passed by. They were obviously waiting for us to get out of sight so they could continue 'foraging'[/p][/quote]Yes blame it all on the East Europeans as usual. Their Universal National Dish is Royal Fried Swan and UKIP Forage Mushrooms in a Carp Jus of course.[/p][/quote]Yes you are right Cranberry - Just because they all have Eastern European names it doesn't mean they are Eastern European! Anyway even if they are - we should let them do what they want, they have come a long way and least we can do is let them on protected land and forage or eat a few Carp. Solidarność! G_Whiz

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