After reading an NPR article on Nordic berry harvests for growing East Asian markets, what immediately stuck out for me was the concept Everyman’s right. Bichell’s article makes reference to this “legal concept in Nordic countries in which the right to pick berries, flowers and mushrooms trumps private property.” These rights apply to residents and visitors alike. As long as you are not disturbing a landowner or trespassing on their yard or “special use” areas (cultivated fields), you may commercially forage and even camp for a night. Such a concept is entirely foreign to me. I come from a litigious land where defying property rights, especially when you’re profiting off them, may come with severe and enforceable legal consequences. Some questions I have include:
Is Everyman’s right a generally accepted standard in Finland? Is growing population pressure (to include the seasonal labor force) an environmental issue? Would areas be improved by limiting access? Are private property violations, such as excessive camping and littering, rampant? Are grievances from property owners easily heard and investigated? Are consequences enforceable? How do property owners feel about commercial gain from land that they own? Are property owners encouraged to be better stewards of the land since others (with equal rights to the natural resources) are passing through and bearing witness to their activities?
Do any readers have personal experience with this type of land usage?