Fungi that grows on the trunks of trees in Surrey’s urban forests must be left alone, as it plays an important role in wood decomposition, nutrient recycling and soil formation, writes Joan Cates. (Geoffrey Yue photo)

Fungi that grows on the trunks of trees in Surrey’s urban forests must be left alone, as it plays an important role in wood decomposition, nutrient recycling and soil formation, writes Joan Cates. (Geoffrey Yue photo)

LETTERS: Take nothing natural out of Surrey’s urban forests

Editor:

On April 7, my husband and I were walking the Chickadee Trail in the Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest. We noticed three people off-trail, chopping vigorously on the sides of trees and filling large bags.

When we inquired as to what they were doing, they indicated they were collecting moss.

Upon a closer look, it was apparent they were filling their bags with the fungi that grows on the tree trunks.

We explained to them that it is unlawful to harvest and remove anything from our forests.

We also spoke of the importance each plant, tree, moss, lichens, fungi and much more, contribute to the health of our forests.

The fungi they were harvesting provide micro-habitats that assist in the regeneration of the forests.

They have an active role in wood decomposition, which in turn contributes to nutrient recycling and soil formation.

When walking in our beautiful forests, if you see this harvesting taking place, kindly ask people to stop. Please respect our forests, which are a treasured gift to all.

Joan and Cam Yates, South Surrey

Letter to the EditorNature