Dear Fellow Landowners,


I’m so happy! My brother Moses who lives in West Sussex has sent me this from the minutes of Billingshurst Parish Council that will help me enormously when people come asking if they can metal detect on my land:

“Mr Ray Deefholts wished to speak about agenda item 9 on metal detecting. Mr Deefholts stated that he is a member of the Federation of Independent Detectorists and is seeking permission from the Council for himself and two friends to use metal detectors on Parish Council land. Smaller items found will remain in the possession of the land owner i.e. the Parish Council, but Horsham Museum may be interested in these finds. Other finds may fall under the Treasure Act….”

Well! Mr Ray Deefholts can have a pint with me any time and I suggest from now on if anyone comes asking to metal detect your land “for the love of history” you ask if they’ll be using the Deefholts-Billingshurst methodi.e. what they find will remain in the possession of the land owner (you!). It’s a pretty neat question because if you don’t see them for dust after that you’ll know they weren’t proper history lovers or amateur archaeologists at all, whatever they or others had told you before !

Good luck,

Silas Brown


NOTE: The Worlingworth History Group is persisting in holding a metal detecting rally in aid of  church repairs today (see here and here). It will not use the Deefholts-Billingshurst method – so the smaller items found (that often add up to thousands of pounds) will not be available to aid the church when they could and should have been. So they’ve been physically and intellectually mugged as they may now know and have only gone ahead to save someone’s face. The only consolation is that it’s more than likely they’ll quietly but firmly refuse any request for a repeat exercise next year!


[For more from the Brown family put Silas in the search box]


More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting