Someone has dumped rubbish right in front of two notices that warn the penalty for so doing is up to £50,000. So what?


Well, the adjoining field happens to be where the Staffordshire hoard was found. The only warning notice there is shown below. It doesn’t quote the penalty for stealing any remaining artefacts – but it’s not £50,000 it’s £5,000.


As you can see, the crop has just been cut. It’s peak time for the use of detectors. Some artefacts probably remain (archaeologists found a lot the second time they looked and intend to go a third time). Meantime there has of course been illegal digging there (some of which we photographed). It’s hardly surprising. If some people risk a £50,000 fine to save a £60 landfill charge others will risk a £5,000 fine to detect at a spot which could contain riches.

Perhaps hidden security is in place, we don’t know, but self-evidently it’s insufficient – and as for visible measures, a single, currently overgrown notice at the site of the world’s greatest Anglo Saxon assemblage is surely inadequate? Will anything be done? Probably not but if more holes appear we’ll publish photographs of them and mention the matter again.