Dear Fellow Landowners,
A tip. If someone from The Cotswold Heritage & Detecting Society comes asking for permission to search your land, ask them why they do it. No doubt they’ll quote the front page of their website: “A Society dedicated to the promotion of the conscientious use of metal detectors for both enjoyment and historical research.” But hold that thought and consider what it says in their Constitution: “The Committee will dispose of all finds made on Club sites with a realisable value of £1000 or more. The finder will be entitled to 60% of said value”.
Up to you friends but that rule didn’t get there by accident and you might want to think long and hard about signing away your property on such a basis (the Crosby Garrett helmet was sold for £2.3 million!), especially to those who say they are in it for “enjoyment and historical research”. You might also consider if the fact they buy landowners “gifts of spirits at Christmas to ensure continued access to their land” is as good a deal as it seems.
It will be interesting to see how they react to this moggy out of the saintly bag. When a similar rule at the Somerset Artefact Seekers was publicised that club changed it the very next day. Central Searchers, who cater for people with no sense of right or wrong, simply hid theirs from public view and carried on regardless. I’ll let you know which route is chosen in the Cotswolds. Bearing in mind they’re the new holders of “The most outrageous and blatantly self-seeking rule in metal detecting” trophy they’ll have to do something!