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Allemansrätten One thing that makes mushroom hunting in Sweden easier than in most other countries is a little thing called "Allemansrätten" - literally translated "Everybody's Right."

It refers to the right that all Swedish citizens have to partake of natures bounty in the form of berries and herbs, flowers and mushrooms - unless they are endangered and protected by law.

Not only on publicly held property but on priately owned forest land not designated as a "yard" or an agricultural field.  In other words, in Sweden, everybody has the right to hike in any forest, swim in any lake, and pick wild fruits, berries and mushrooms on all wild land - whether privately owned or public.   (It would be a paradise for any of a Native American disposition.)

You can even camp for three days and nights in one spot without asking the land owner's permission.

There are of course some restrictions to this law, to prevent abuse.   For example, you cannot cut down or damage trees, not even remove branches.  But all in all, it is a wonderful law.  It probably sounds strange to an American, perhaps even "socialistic."  But having grown up with it, anything else appears very strange, even barbaric.  I had a shock as a young boy the first time I went to another country (Denmark) and saw the forest land fenced in with no-trespassing signs.

The wild earth belongs to us all.  Apart from some privacy in the form of yards, the rest should not be fenced and made publically unavailable because some people can afford to "own" pieces of our Earth Mother, while most people can't.


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