UKTC Archive

RE: Fungi and tree growth - more important than weather.

Subject: RE: Fungi and tree growth - more important than weather.
From: grumpy
Date: Jan 17 2022 15:55:13
Thanks Jerry

It gives me the impression that someone has this idealistic idea of the law - 
as some sort of magic that if fungi are including in the list that suddenly 
they will be "protected". We know how difficult it is for the law to protect 
large beings including elephants, rhinos, birds of prey and trees to be 
protected by the law.  Inclusion of fungi possibly conjures up the 
disturbance of mushrooms, but how do you protect a fungus on a building site 
that is present throughout the soil?

If it's a matter for education, it looks interesting but why stop there - why 
not all living kingdoms and then people will be properly educated?

If people think decay organisms need to be protected then surely we need to 
include earthworms and all other soil fauna? No? What about bacteria?

And if you think viruses are a form of life, how about including them? Or 
will they look after themselves? Possibly not many people in the public will 
want that will they? Almost as popular as preserving Boris!


-----Original Message-----
From: <> 
On Behalf Of Jerry Ross
Sent: 17 January 2022 14:13
To: UK Tree Care <>
Subject: Re: Fungi and tree growth - more important than weather.

The move to bring in the 3rd F started in Chile and was very much an 
international effort, not about UK law at all, albeit from what you say, that 
needs to be reformed/updated. But the introduction of 'Funga' was to 
generally raise the awareness of the critical importance of fungi by equating 
them with the widely used general terms Flora and Fauna.
See this, from

"/Species conservation on a global scale commonly refers to living 
macroscopic organisms as Fauna and Flora, with the total omission of fungi or 
any microscopic organisms. Nevertheless, countries like Chile have taken 
pioneering steps towards an ecosystem view of nature through the 
incorporation of kingdom //Fungi//in public policy (República de Chile 2010: 
Par. 4, Arts. 37–38). This has given the country effective protection of 
plants, animals, and fungi, but other countries’ 
legislation mentions only Fauna and Flora and sometimes microorganisms, or 
refers to “wildlife” — which to many equates to vertebrates. By the omission 
of fungi, these organisms so critical to the maintenance of healthy ecosystem 
processes, are unrecognized and unrepresented.The international acceptance of 
the recognition of the macroscopic organisms of Earth as Fauna, Flora, and 
Funga paves the way for substantial changes in educational and agricultural 
policies, amongst others. This will facilitate the incorporation of mycology 
in matters of national interest, such as conservation, habitat protection, 
species protection, and education./"

(By rights I daresay they should add Protista - but I suspect that would only 
confuse your average Juan and Juanita.) (Besides, it doesn't start with an 

On 17/01/2022 12:52,
Jon- The term 'funga' is not claimed as a 'kingdom' any more than 
flora and fauna are. The woman on the program gave a presentation in 
the arb. Association fungus symposium a few months ago. It's all about 
getting fungi included in legislation which has previously been 
limited to protecting 'flora and fauna';


I haven't had a chance to listen/watch any programmes but you may be 
interested to know that whilst Science may have moved on, the law has not: 
it is not restricted to flora and fauna but does appear to use all 
embracing terms animals and plants.

My copy of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Schedule 8 lists "Plants 
which are protected". These include a section on Non Vascular Plants, 5 of 
which are fungi (including the oak polypore) and around 29 are lichens.

Whilst s.13 defines  what is prohibited (pick, uproot, destroy and 
selling/advertising the sale) and this looks more plant than fungus 
focused, the reality of how law as a tool works has to be taken into 
account. If the fungus is well and truly inbedded in substrate it seems 
unlikely that someone picking a toadstool could be prosecuted for 
destroying a fungus. Picking yes and selling/advertising yes.

So why aren't more fungal species on the list? The JNCC is responsible for 
updating the list (s.24(1), every 5 years apparently). It's up to them as 
to what is on the list. The law does not prevent the list getting longer. 
Perhaps politicians might but we don't know that.


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The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
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