Hello Fellow Landowners,

Yes it’s me, Farmer Silas Brown, once again promoting your interest in relation to metal detecting because the Government and officialdom won’t.

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This time I’m highlighting the fact lots of detectorists take finds home without showing us. Not sure what they tell farmers but they tell the public it’s “because he isn’t interested”. Hmm. Does that sound like you or anyone you know? Thought not. They also tell the public “If he had them he wouldn’t report them” – implying the average farmer is less educated or socially responsible than the average detectorist. Hmm again! Take a look at any detecting forum!

But the main issue is they’re our finds not theirs so letting anything be taken away unseen is crazy. Many finds are valuable, but how would we know? Plus there’s an immutable law of the universe: what leaves an owner doesn’t necessarily all find it’s way back to him! So my strong advice (and something the Government and officialdom ought to spend outreach money telling you) is NEVER let your property leave your farm until you have obtained independent advice on its value and significance. You can then decide what YOU want to do with it. That could include showing it to PAS. (You can phone them or visit them, here they all are. They might even visit you as they visit hundreds of pubs to meet detectorists – so it really couldn’t be easier for you to report your property to them, whatever you may have been told!)

That advice, and much else is in the Journal’s Ethical Detecting Code. You won’t find any official or archaeologist saying any part of that is wrong so if any detectorist says he won’t keep to it, well, you decide! The Southern Detectorists Group detects 20 farms and in no case do they hand the finds to the farmers at the end of their digs. I’m only a humble farmer, less educated or socially responsible than the average detectorist, but to me that’s scandalous. And it’s not just me. Tesco’s don’t like people taking things home without going through the check-out either.

Best wishes,

Silas Brown

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More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting

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