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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 12:04 GMT
Mushroom picker fights forest ban
A mushroom picker has won the right for a court to decide if she is allowed to pick edible fungi in the New Forest.

Brigitte Tee-Hillman, of Pennington, Hampshire, appealed against an earlier decision that she had no right to pick mushrooms in the national park.

At Winchester Crown Court, Judge Iain Hughes QC said Mrs Tee-Hillman had a prima facie case that picking the fungi could be a "prescriptive right".

But he warned that in the trial the burden would be on her to prove it.

Commercial picking

The 63-year-old, who has been picking fungi for the past 30 years, took the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to court after one of its agencies, the Forestry Commission, stopped her picking mushrooms.

She claimed that she had picked the fungi since 1973 for commercial gain but Defra said the activity was illegal because she sold them.

In November 2002, Mrs Tee-Hillman was arrested and 27 worth of brown chanterelles was confiscated after she was informed that picking fungi for commercial purposes was illegal.

The case will now go to a full civil court trial later this year.

Organic help for mushroom growers
22 Mar 04 |  North Yorkshire

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