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It’s the law

 knowledgeable person on this forum told us the law when it came to picking wild flowers.  Was it yes you can, or no you can’t pick wild flowers. 
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  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    There was a huge post a couple of years back on this. Can't remember if it's law or not but who is going to stop kids picking flowers to take home to mum? 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,321
    provided that they are growing wild and that you are not picking them for commercial gain, then common law allows you to pick flowers, foliage, fruit and fungi. That is as long as you have explicit or implicit permission to be on the land in the first place, unless it is land covered by the Countryside Rights of Way act and didn't have a right of access before that act (2000), and as long as it's not a designated SSSI or other conservation area where particular restrictions have been imposed.

    Basically, it's better not to really, unless it's from a roadside verge in which case you're pretty safe.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Thank you Raisingirl
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,995
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,490
    I thought it was illegal for anyone to pick wild flowers from anywhere (unless in a private garden) under one of the Countryside Acts going back to the 1970's/980's? 
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,321
    Lizzie27 said:
    I thought it was illegal for anyone to pick wild flowers from anywhere (unless in a private garden) under one of the Countryside Acts going back to the 1970's/980's? 
    No - but it is illegal to dig them up. There are some protected species, but generally you can pick flowers as long as you don't kill the plant or cause significant other damage by doing it.

    It's still better not to
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    It is illegal to pick any part of plants covered by this legislation, or dig them up, or sell them.  The list of plants is here, 

    https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140716104936/http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69/schedule/8

    and includes bluebells, wild gladioli, orchids and so on, wherever they are.  It is also illegal to touch anything in a specially protected area like a nature reserve, SSSI or similar.   

    I find picking any wildflower morally reprehensible, but a meal’s worth of mushrooms seems ok.  But as a child Iwastold never to touch anything!  And our family went by the adage that you should take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints.  
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    I'm inclined to allow small children to pick little bunches of common wild flowers. You can chat to them about the plants, the colours and it encourages generosity.
    When my granddaughter was tiny she liked to walk round my garden with me, picking one or two of everything pretty. We learned names, smelled the scented ones and so on. Such a precious memory now she is too sophisticated for such pleasures.
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    The more wild flowers you pick the less seed there is so at the end of the day your still endangering that flower best to no pick any really, but I understand the temptation when some are so beautiful and we want to bring nature into our homes.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,321
    edited May 2019
    The place where my parents' ashes are scattered is about a 20 minute walk from the nearest road, along a steep river valley. When I visit, especially if I'm with my niece, I'll pick a very small bunch of wildflowers and grasses from the hedgebanks as I go, and then drop it into the stream at the spot where we left them.

    1. I had written permission from the landowner to scatter the ashes there in the first place (it's a nature reserve).
    2. I don't want to take garden flowers in case I accidentally introduce something problematic - so better to make my little bouquet from the plants already there. As I don't actually remove them from the reserve - just move them a bit - I can't see it would be a problem.
    3. I never pick flowers from protected species, and I 'tie' my bouquets with a grass stem, not string or anything 'artificial'.

    I do see people picking buckets of elderflowers from the hedgerows along our private lane sometimes (we're about a mile from the road). Which probably means they are planning to make cordial or wine or champagne in enough quantity to sell. That is illegal. It also deprives the birds of the berries (which people also come along and pick in vast quantities). I would report it as theft but I'm really not sure who to report it to. I doubt the police would see it as a priority compared to theft of farm vehicles and livestock. I'm far less concerned about people picking blackberries from the hedges. For one it's hard to do much to a bramble to stop it growing and for another, there are invariably quite a lot that you can't get at in a decent bramble thicket.
    I have lots of elder trees in my garden and propagate a few more each year from hardwood cuttings (always having asked the permission of the tree first, as is traditional), so hopefully I'm growing enough to make up for the losses locally.

    People just don't think of nature as a finite resource  :|
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
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