Blackberry picking could soon be illegal under proposed new by-laws designed to protect Bristol’s parks and green spaces.
Bristol City Council has proposed 34 new bylaws for 212 parks and green spaces around the city and one of the new by rules bans people from removing “the whole or any part of any plant, shrub or tree”
Foragers who take people on guided tours around Bristol have called the proposals “draconian” and are urging the public to fight them through the consultation.
The Telegraph reports:
The rule, which is currently part of a public consultation, would also outlaw making daisy chains, picking apples or mushrooms or any other wild fruit.
The authority insists no decision have yet been made, but local foragers have hit out at the new laws.
Andy Hamilton, who runs “Gin Safari” – guided foraging walks – said the new by-laws would be devastating for his business.
He said: “I can quite understand the whole of ‘any tree’, but this bylaw will make the picking of an apple or a blackberry illegal.
“It seems rather a heavy handed approach to something that I am not aware of being a problem. It basically means I can’t do my job.
“The work I do is a way of engaging people with what they can eat and drink and get them outside.
“This law would put me out of that kind of job, and because Bristol is such a foodie place there are a lot of chefs who are experimenting with this type of stuff too.
“I can get why the council don’t want you to take plants, but it needs to be specific about what you can take. This just seems draconian.”
Chef Anton Petrov, a forager who provides ingredients for Bulrush, a restaurant in Cotham, Bristol, branded the laws “restrictive”.
He added: “It’s narrow minded. We need an active participation in wildlife’s support, not exclusion from it.
“Look, I picked up a dandelion! I’m a criminal now! I’m sorry, but this is outrageous.”
The proposed by-law states: “No person shall without reasonable excuse remove from or displace within the ground any stone, soil or turf or the whole or any part of any plant, shrub or tree.”
It is among dozens of by-laws which are out for consultation until March 20.