Carrying Knives etc. When Out Foraying

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Leif
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Carrying Knives etc. When Out Foraying

Post by Leif » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:08 pm

EDIT (Lancashire Lad 02/09/15) - Posts split away from "Reflectors" topic, to better reflect content.

I carry a penknife which helps support a reflector. I often pick up some sticks, sharpen the ends and use those too. I am now wary of pen knives after almost cutting off the tip of a finger when one collapsed. I looked a sight, walking through the nature reserve with my right hand completely covered with bright red blood, dripping profusely. :lol: Unfortunately the law prevents carrying fixed knives, which is understandable but stupid since pen knives are more dangerous to the user, I now fear the things.

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adampembs
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Carrying Knives etc. When Out Foraying

Post by adampembs » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:23 am

Leif wrote:: Unfortunately the law prevents carrying fixed knives, which is understandable but stupid since pen knives are more dangerous to the user, I now fear the things.
Not quite...
It is illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife.

I occasionally help out opening up footpaths, and can then use machetes, scythes etc. On forays, you could probably argue that a longer blade is needed if you need to cut through brambles etc.
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Lancashire Lad
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Carrying Knives etc. When Out Foraying

Post by Lancashire Lad » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:30 pm

I am 100% in agreement that knives need to be kept off the streets and out of the hands of irresponsible people, and fully endorse bringing the full weight of the law down upon those who misuse them.

However, I have to admit that UK knife legislation leaves something to be desired in respect of legitimate usage. (and note that the law is not just for knives, it includes anything that might be considered to be a bladed weapon - i.e. axe, folding saw, etc.).

As things stand, the only exceptions to being found carrying a legally permissible "folding blade of 3" or less in length" are subject to the rather vague statement of having a "good reason" for carrying it in public, and that "A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife if you’re charged with carrying it illegally".: -
https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives

Although English law insists that it is the responsibility of the prosecution to provide evidence proving a crime has been committed, in this case, an individual must provide evidence to prove that they had a bona fide reason for carrying a knife. Whilst this may appear to be a reversal of the usual burden of proof, technically the prosecution has already proven the case (prima facie) by establishing that a knife was being carried in a public place.

I was once advised that if stopped by the police and found to be carrying something that was subject to the "good reason" clause, the police would use a checklist which (subject to my memory) went something like "Is this person authorised to carry/use this implement - for this purpose - at this time - in this place - on this land - by the landowner. . . . ?", and that unless the answers to all those questions were definitely "yes", then you would be arrested/charged.

I would certainly fall foul of that reasoning, by virtue of the fact that on many occasions I am on publicly accessible land and do not specifically have the land owners permission to be there with a knife/saw.

When foraying, I regularly carry a chisel knife and folding saw: -
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hultafors-38007 ... isel+knife
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bahco-Laplander ... olding+saw
The chisel knife being my preferred tool for general foraying use because it can safely cut almost anything required, and, can also be used in chisel mode to safely remove sections of wood that hold small asco's etc.
I do accept that it is razor sharp, and could inflict terrible injury in the hands of the wrong person - but I only ever carry it when foraying, for foray specific usage.
The folding saw is generally to be found at the bottom of my rucksack in order that I can cut through small fallen branches holding fungi, or remove suitable bits of fallen branch to use when I'm making handles for walking sticks.

I maintain that these are the right tools for their intended purpose, and which are only ever carried when I'm engaged in the specific activity.
So I guess I'll have to make my case for "good reason" to be carrying these items if I ever get stopped.

Regards,
Mike.
Common sense is not so common.

Leif
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Carrying Knives etc. When Out Foraying

Post by Leif » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:44 am

adampembs wrote:
Leif wrote:: Unfortunately the law prevents carrying fixed knives, which is understandable but stupid since pen knives are more dangerous to the user, I now fear the things.
Not quite...
It is illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife.

I occasionally help out opening up footpaths, and can then use machetes, scythes etc. On forays, you could probably argue that a longer blade is needed if you need to cut through brambles etc.
Yes, I'm aware of that, it allows forestry workers to carry knives at work etc. It might be argued that a knife could be carried in a backpack with foraying gear, but it would be risky unless the 'authorities' confirmed it was okay. And I like to carry a knife at all times, since you don't know when you will bump into fungi. I carry a saw in my car too. There is a law whereby you can be arrested for carrying the tools for a crime. Best leave the crowbar at home. :)

My issue is that penknives are potentially dangerous for the user. If the blade collapses, your fingers Will suffer. I was lucky not to lose part of a finger, as it sliced only the tip. I have a Swiss army knife, which is incredibly useful, but the blades now scare me, and they are only suitable for some uses e.g. Trimming fungi.

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