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Researchers at Newcastle University have highlighted how illegal levels of metallic waste spread on fields damages heritage by obscuring geophysical surveys. To this end the university has  issued an  app for the public to report it when it is seen so that a geographical database can be built up. So if you are walking along the road or a public footpath and you see something like this please use the app to report it.


You’d think that detectorists (who’ve been running a furious campaign against green waste on the grounds it reduces their ability to hunt artefacts) would be mad keen to use it, but no, they’re all terrified if they report it the farmers will sling them off their land: Here are some disgraceful but genuine quotes:

“I am just hoping the detecting community will see sense before they embark on a mission of “DOBBING UP” our most valuable supporters”
“the App is an outrage to common decency”
“Pressing the button on the app, is equivalent to pressing the self destruct button on your detector!”
“Lets just hope that farmers dont get wind of the app, or details appear in Farmers Weekly”
“The danger is that farmers find out it exists”

Needless to say, those alleged friends of heritage, the National Council for Metal Detecting have advised members not to use the App unless the farmer has given permission. Compare and contrast a similar App launched by the Ramblers Association. But then, ramblers are a different breed. They’re not on the land to take stuff for themselves.  As for “Lets just hope that farmers dont get wind of the app” we hope they do. If you know any farmers we suggest you tell them!





February 2017

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