Graeme Doshi-Smith, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, said: ‘Fungi play an incredibly important role in the delicate balance of biodiversity which makes Epping Forest special.
‘Stripping the ancient woodland of mushrooms damages its wildlife and threatens rare species.
‘And many varieties are dangerous for human consumption and can indeed be fatal.
‘We welcome the millions of people who come to enjoy this protected site. But I urge visitors to leave the fungi how they find them – untouched.’
Epping Forest is London and Essex’s largest green space and is managed as a registered charity by the City of London Corporation.
The woodland has more than one million trees, including 50,000 ancient pollards of Beech, Hornbeam and Oak, and there are around 500 rare and endangered insect species.
The City Corporation protects 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England, including Hampstead Heath, and more than 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile, investing more than £40m a year.
These sites, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve.
They include important wildlife habitats, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves and are protected from being built on by special legislation.
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