Always seek the landowner's or site manager's permission before you enter land
and explain the purpose of your visit.
Follow the Country Code.
Try to minimise damage to vegetation, leaf litter, soil and other
Avoid removing dead wood unless this is necessary to identify a fungus.
Take a reputable field guide with you and try to identify as many fungi as you
can in situ.
Ancient woodlands usually contain a rich variety of different types of fungi
and may include some rare species. Particular care should be taken when collecting
from these sites.
Collecting for the Pot
Be aware that some fungi are very poisonous and many others may make you
unwell. Some people have allergic reactions after eating certain species. Make
quite sure you can identify fungi by attending a field course or foray led by an
expert before you start collecting.
Do not collect species you don't intend to eat.
Respect and protect other species, including poisonous ones.
Do not collect rare or endangered species.
Only collect from plentiful populations and take no more than you want for your
personal consumption. In line with codes in most other European countries, we
recommend that you pick no more than 1.5 kg per visit or no more than half of the
fruit bodies of any single species present, whichever is the lower amount. Larger
quantities taken for profit or other use should be agreed beforehand with the
landowner or site manager.
Do not collect 'buttons' (mushrooms that have not expanded). Giving buttons
time to expand will allow spores to be discharged and will give you a bigger
mushroom to eat.
On some SSSIs, most nature reserves and other
protected areas it is unlikely that culinary collecting is allowed. Always consult
the site owner or manager before collecting.
Guidelines for Scientific Collecting
It is often necessary to collect for identification purposes. The
identification and study of fungi is important to further our knowledge of them and
to ensure their future survival.
Collect the minimum amount of material or number of specimens required for a
proper description and reliable identification.
Fungi are enjoyed by many people because of their beauty and intrigue. For this
reason you should take care to minimise the visual effect of collecting
Record accurately the localities and habitat data for rare species.
Always offer the results of your survey to the landowner or manager and explain
the significance of what you have found.
If you have permission to collect for scientific purposes do not abuse it by
also collecting for the pot.
Supply information to local and national databases and retain 'voucher
specimens' for deposit in museum collections.
Advice for Foray Leaders
Apply for permission in writing, giving the proposed area for the foray, the
date, start and finish times and the estimated numbers of people involved.
Organise the foray to minimise both the numbers of fungi picked, and the risk
of picking rare species. Avoid repetitive picking and make sure everyone knows how
to collect responsibly to minimise the amount discarded at the end of the day.
Try to return discarded material to the collection site.
A rake should only be used when absolutely necessary and then only by the foray
leader. Any areas raked should be restored afterwards, with twigs, logs and leaf
Provide a short, simple report for the landowner or manager, listing the fungi
found and giving advice on the protection and management of sites where rare
species were found.
Follow the Guidelines for scientific collecting where