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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 21:00 GMT
Mushroom picker wins park battle
Brigitte Tee-Hillman
Brigitte Tee-Hillman has been picking mushrooms for 30 years
A woman has won her long fight to pick mushrooms in the New Forest.

Brigitte Tee-Hillman, 64, from Lymington in Hampshire, had been picking the wild mushrooms in the national park for nearly 30 years.

In 2002, she was told to stop by the Forestry Commission who said it was illegal because she sold the fungi on.

The mushroom expert has now been granted a licence to pick mushrooms in the forest in whatever quantity she chooses for the rest of her life.

Mrs Tee-Hillman said: "I'm delighted I can now pick mushrooms again without fear. I think the commission went over the top - justice has been done."

Her solicitor Clive Sutton said the law of common rights in relation to the issue went back to the 15th century.

Brigitte Tee-Hillman's mushroom sign
Mrs Tee-Hillman was told it was illegal to pick and sell mushrooms

The saga started in November 2002 when Mrs Tee-Hillman was arrested by police and 27 worth of brown chanterelles were confiscated.

The criminal charges were thrown out in May this year and a judge at Southampton Crown Court ordered the Forestry Commission to pay all costs, estimated to be in six figures.

Mike Seddon, deputy surveyor for the commission, said the licence was personal to Mrs Tee-Hillman and for the duration of her lifetime only.

He said: "We will continue to apply the England code of mushroom picking which enables individuals to collect up to 3.3lb (1.5kg) of fungi for personal consumption, but which does not support unregulated commercial picking."




SEE ALSO
No trial in mushroom 'theft' case
16 May 06 |  Hampshire
Mushroom picker fights forest ban
21 Feb 06 |  Hampshire

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