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Concerns over wild food foraging in the New Forest

Wild food foraging is growing in popularity Credit: ITV news

The New Forest is being stripped of mushrooms as wild food foraging gains popularity. That's according to the Hampshire Fungus Recording Group - which is calling on the Forestry Commission to impose a ban on ALL mushroom picking. They say the popularity is in part due to TV foodies and celebrity chefs.

Mushroom picking for commercial gain is illegal, but the general public are allowed a total of 1.5kg of mushrooms per person, per day. Society member Sara Cadbury said: " All these programmes about the 'wild food' craze and foraging in the forest merely serve to popularise the idea of mushroom picking. Fungus is a central part to the web of life - nearly all plants and trees rely on them for their growth, as do many invertebrates."

Foragers say a blanket ban on picking mushrooms would be a tragedy. A spokesman for the Forestry Commission said: "We do control and permit events in the New Forest and will direct organised groups to less sensitive sites and discourage them from cutting or picking fungi. By promoting the Fungi Pickers' Code of Conduct we want everyone to have a sensible approach to collecting fungi and only for personal use. We are very aware of the concerns regarding the impacts of unauthorised commercial picking and are working to develop a more robust approach to this in the New Forest, which must be practical and enforceable."

Man rescued after falling down a well in New Forest

Firefighters have rescued a man in his 60s who fell 30ft down a well in Linford.

Crews from three different counties attended the scene yesterday afternoon, where the man, who cannot swim, was stuck in the large well inside a barn.

A life jacket was given to the man, before a firefighter was lowered down to save him. He was lifted to safety in a harness and taken to hospital in an ambulance.

We are extremely pleased that, after falling such a long way down the well, the man has now been released from hospital and is recovering well at home

– Station Manager Greg Garrett

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Man due in court over teenagers' deaths in car crash

Passengers Abbey Rogers & Lily Godwin died after car hit a wall Credit: Facebook

A man is due in court this morning charged with causing the deaths of two teenagers in a crash.

Lily Butterfield-Godwin and Abbey Rogers, who were both 19 years old, died when the car in which they were passengers hit a wall on Gosport Lane in Lyndhurst in December.

21-year-old James Battrick from Cadnam is due at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Appeal after teenage boy assaulted

Were you in the Bolderwood Road area of the New Forest on Saturday April 11?

Did you see an altercation between a man and a teenage boy on a skateboard near to the A31 roadbridge?

Police are appealing for witnesses after a 13-year-old boy was assaulted while he was out skateboarding with friends between 11.30am and 12.30pm. The boy was recording his friend as he skateboarded along the road when a man driving a dark-coloured Vauxhall car appeared to try and run the boy off the road.

The boy then shouted and the man stopped his car and approached him. He grabbed the boy before pushing him to the ground and standing on his ankle and foot.

The man then also made the boy delete the footage from his camera before leaving the scene in his car.

The man is described as white, aged about 40, about 6ft 5ins tall and of a large build. He had a long ginger beard and was wearing a hat, jeans and a jacket.

“This was a cowardly assault on a defenceless young boy which has resulted in the victim sustained a broken ankle and chipped on on his foot. The weather was good this day and so the area was likely to have been busy with cyclists, dog walkers and tourists and I would urge anyone with any information or who witnessed the incident to contact me."

– PC Jason Andrews

Abbey and Lily, born on same day, die together in crash

Family and friends of two teenage girls, killed in an horrific car crash at the weekend, are still trying to come to terms with their loss.

Lily Butterfield-Godwin and Abbey Rogers, born on the same day 19 years ago, died together when the car in which they were passengers smashed into a wall.

It happened in Gosport Lane at Lyndhurst, in the New Forest. The 21-year-old driver and another girl were injured and taken to Southampton General Hospital.

Investigations into how the incident happened have been continuing throughout the day. Richard Slee reports.

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680 speeding offences detected in New Forest last month

New technology, used by speed enforcement officers to concentrate on reducing animal related accidents on the roads, detected 680 speed-related offences in the New Forest during October.

The majority of these drivers, who were caught in the first month of the project, will be offered a place on a speed awareness course.

The Hampshire Constabulary speeding officers targeted evening commuting times when the greatest number of animals are injured, and used infra-red camera technology to detect speeding offences at night.

Hampshire Constabulary Road Safety Sergeant, Rob Heard, said:

The results for October highlight the importance of this partnership approach to reducing speed in the New Forest. They show we are targeting the right areas and that people are speeding through the New Forest.

We sincerely hope our enforcement will remind drivers of the importance of keeping within the speed limit at all times of the day and hope that it will contribute to a reduction in speed and a reduction in the number of injuries to both people and animals.

– Rob Heard

This project is a partnership between the Verderers of the New Forest, The Commoners Defence Association, and Hampshire Constabulary.

Overturned lorry in New Forest - delays on A31

The A31 westbound at the New Forest in Hampshire remains closed because of an overturned lorry and recovery work between M27 J1 / B3079 (Cadnam) and A338 Salisbury Road (Ringwood).

The A-road has been down to one lane since 4:30am, but a full closure is now in place from M27 J2 via the A35. The road is not expected to reopen until about midday.

There is only local access to exit the M27 at J1, and to/from the A31 in the New Forest.

Diversion in place: from M27 J2 Ower, follow the Hollow Circle Symbol via A326 to Totton and A35 south via Lyndhurst towards A338 at Bournemouth.

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