POLICE seized 47 kilos of milk cap mushrooms illegally harvested by a gang of pickers from publicly owned mountain land in the Sierra de Filabres on November 2.
The mushrooms were being transported in a van when police stopped the drivers in the municipality of Senés. The milk caps have been destroyed, as pickers were unable to prove that they were pruned for human consumption.
Every year around this time, wild mushrooms grow in the Spanish countryside and every year as temperatures drop, people attempt to pick them on an industrial scale.
In 2014, the regional government delegation in Almería issued a statement allowing people to only pick a limit of 5 kilograms per person per day, provided they are picked for private consumption.
Pickers are not allowed to disturb the soil on which the mushrooms are grown, so they must be cut and not pulled out from the ground. Using rakes, hoes and other garden equipment is forbidden, and at the same time, unripe or over-ripe mushrooms should never be picked.
Regulations go on to specify that mushrooms can only be picked within the hours of daylight, using torches and baskets to carry them is also forbidden.
Unauthorised picking of mushrooms and breaking regulations can lead to fines between €60 and €601.