What of wild root and tuber plants e.g. wild carrot, wild parsnip, dandelion, burdock, pignut, etc.?
If the underground portion is harvested then strictly speaking the part of the plant that grows above ground should be left on site and not taken away. By doing this the forager is demonstrating that his or her intention is not to permanently deprive the landowner of the goods. However, they may still leave themselves open to a charge of criminal damage, if permission from the landowner is not first sought. It is also unsightly.
On land which has been opened up under CROW rights the harvesting of any wild plant parts is forbidden.
There are national restrictions that apply to the new access rights at all times. CROW excludes any rights to the following; to ride a horse or bicycle, or drive a vehicle; take part in organised games or commercial activities; bathe in non-tidal water, or use boats there; hunt, fish or collect anything from the area including rocks or plants; camp or light fires.
In addition further local restrictions may be Imposed on the new rights where deemed necessary.
The above national restrictions and local restriction powers only apply to the land newly opened up to access under the CROW scheme. They do not affect what people already do: by local tradition or tolerance; with express permission; on public rights of way such as footpaths and bridleways; or under any other existing rights or arrangements that apply locally.
That’s the law but what of respect?
The following is a quote from an old holy Wintu Native American woman, that sets the benchmark—she was contrasting the behaviour of her people with that of the white man;
“When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots we make little holes. When we build houses we make little holes. When we burn grass for a grasshoppers, we don’t ruin things. We shake down acorns and pinenuts. We don’t chop down trees. We only use dead wood.”