There are four main laws to be aware of when collecting any fungi :
- The Theft Act 1968 (Part 4 “Property”, Section 3 “Fungi”) which applies only in England and Wales. This applies to what you can pick and what you can’t do with it.
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Section on Wildlife – Vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens and fungi). This applies to what you can pick and what you can’t do with it.
- The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (Part 55 “Offences in connection with SSSIs”, Section 3 “Damage to SSSIs”). This applies to where you cannot pick fungi, without special dispensation.
- In addition, there are the amended laws relating to ‘magic mushrooms’ as defined by the Drugs Act 2005 (Part 4, Section 21). This is more helpfully explained in the BMS online publication ‘Collecting & Recording Fungi – Appendix 12: Guidelines for field mycologists: the practical interpretation of Section 21 of the Drugs Act 2005‘. This applies to what you cannot pick.