The Scottish Wild Mushroom Code
The countryside is a working landscape. Please be aware of your own
safety and follow the countryside and access codes. In accordance with
this code there are some instances, e.g. commercial harvest, where
you must make contact with the land manager before you collect mushrooms.
By respecting the natural environment you can help to manage and
conserve the countryside. When collecting mushrooms for any purpose,
please consider the following points:
What to collect
- Wildlife, especially insects, need mushrooms too, so only pick
what you will use.
- Some mushrooms are poisonous and others rare and should not
be collected only collect what you know and take a field
guide with you to identify mushrooms where you find them.
- Some species are vulnerable, so please consider whether there
is an alternative species that is more common that might suit
How to collect
- Allow mushrooms to release spores, do not pick mushrooms until
the cap has opened out and leave those that are past their best.
- The main part of the mushroom is below the surface; take care
not to damage or trample it and not to disturb its surroundings.
- Scatter trimmings discreetly in the same area as the mushroom
Where to collect
- Before you collect mushrooms at a nature reserve please always
seek advice from the manager, as special conditions may apply.
to find out more about protected areas in Scotland
If you own or manage land
- Mushrooms are a critical part of the natural cycle in grassland and
woodlands; if these are compromised all elements of the ecosystem will
be affected. Be aware that your management activities may affect mushrooms.
If you run a foray or collect for scientific purposes remember to:
- Ensure the safety of your party; make contact with the land manager
in advance of your visit.
- Give a record of what you have found to the land manager
and explain the significance of your findings.
The code was created by the Scottish
Wild Mushroom Forum, a group consisting of representatives of conservation
organisations, landowners, public landowning bodies, mushroom buyers
and mushroom pickers. The creation of the Forum and the Code was
funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Millennium Forest for Scotland
Trust and Moray, Badenoch and Strathspey Enterprise.