“I don’t go metal detecting for the money. I do it out of historical interest – but if somebody is going to stand up and throw money at me I am not going to not take it”

Some, including the hard-pressed British taxpayer, might think Mr Darke’s words illustrate just how ludicrous it is to be paying metal detectorists millions of pounds in rewards for doing what they all swear blind they would do without any reward anyway. And they might further reflect on why on earth we are spending further millions encouraging and supporting them in a hobby that other countries deem illegal and would simply send them to prison for!

You can see a photograph of long term metal detectorist Mr Darke, together with details of his fall-out with his metal detecting co-finder over who gets what dosh here. If you pay tax or care about the archaeological record, or think the first should go towards protecting the second not in facilitating it’s erosion away into the hands of a few thousand nameless and entirely unregulated private individuals (most of whom tell no-one what they have found or where) it’s definitely worth a look.