Below follows the translated text of the mushroom picking policy of the Dutch
Mycological Society (NMV), as it was published in Coolia 44(2), 130-131 (2001).
No rights or consequences can be derived from the version published here (on the
The Dutch Mycological Society aims at improving the study and conservation of
fungi. Picking mushrooms for consumption, on whatever scale, does not fit in this
goal. Therefore, during society activities (forays) no mushrooms will be picked
for consumption. Limited picking for study and educative purposes is, however,
acceptable and not harmful to the species. In general this should be performed
as inconspicuously as possible, without visible damage to the surroundings. This
also implies that picked but discarded mushrooms are not simply left on the footpaths,
and logs that have been turned around are restored in their original position
- Nature conservation requires knowledge, and this includes knowledge of fungi.
Both within and outside of designated nature reserves, management should take
fungi into account, just like all other organisms. Fungi are important and
indispensable components in the life cycle, as recyclers of dead organic matter,
and symbionts of trees.
- The study of fungi is to be encouraged rather than discouraged. Fungi are
fascinating organisms, and play an important role in the perception of nature.
The organisation of forays for laymen is to be encouraged. For all forays
permission of the land owner/administrator is to be requested.
- Study and inventarisation of fungi can not be performed without limited
picking of fruitbodies for close (microscopic) examination. Reliable identification
is not always possible in the field. Also for educative purposes it is essential
to show the whole fruitbody. Since the largest part of the fungus, the mycelium,
resides in the substrate anyway (the fruitbody is comparable to an apple on
a tree), picking of fruitbodies does not usually damage the fungus.
- A relation between picking of fruitbodies and decline of fungi has never
been demonstrated. Nevertheless, large scale picking of mushrooms causes unacceptable
decrease of the recreational value of the site (a forest without mushrooms)
and has a detrimental effect on organisms that depend on mushrooms, like some
insects. The associated perturbation of the soil may in some cases damage
the mycelium in the soil.
- Causes of the decline of many fungal species in the Netherlands are acidification,
dessiccation and nutrification, and biotope destruction. Often, specific management
measures (grazing, sod cutting) can counter the negative effects. The NMV
aims to improve management and conservation of fungi by providing specific
advice on management of nature reserves, in particular through the Committee
for Fungi and Nature Conservation.