Posted by Caroline on July 04, 1997 at 23:39:22:
In reply to Re: Gardening - Strawberry fields forever posted by Katariina on July 03, 1997 at 07:09:07
] Would they go out to pick wild berries and mushrooms? Or would they send their servants? Or was this only for peasants? If so, could the peasants pick them on the gentry's lands? In Finland we have a law called "everyman's rights", which allows you for example to pick wild berries where ever you want, but there is no such law in England, I think.
The law in England regarding this is actually very old, and rather complicated.Firstly, there are a whole series of "rights" which could well be similar to the finnish ones. One of them is the right to gather "wild food" like berries and mushrooms. But, there is another law that means you may not go onto private land. The end result is a compromise.
If you see mushrooms in a pasture, you can go and pick them, as long as you do not "cause damage". this means you have to shut the gate behind you, not damage the grass, take particular notice of the bull, and not upset him.;-)
Wild strawberries in England are a woodland plant. Again, you are entitled to the strawberries, but straying into an area reserved for game birds(and therefore disturbing them) would be seen as causing damage.Most people would get permission to collect before they did so.
There are also a whole bunch of laws called "rights of common" which entitle the public to gather , graze animals, and cut for fuel on common land. Such land is often called "the Common". These laws existed in Jane Austen's time.
I would like to think that Lizzy and her sisters probably got up early to gather mushrooms occasionally, fo rthe fun of it, but it would usually be a job for servants.Sorry I cannot be more definite!
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