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Dear Fellow Landowners,

Detecting is becoming big business. TWO organisations are now offering up to £1,000 for access to fields. But if you’re approached be warned: no archaeologist in Britain or the world approves of commercial exploitation like that. Plus, the Government now says post Brexit we must earn our subsidies and that is bound to include protecting archaeology.

Clearly allowing hundreds of strangers onto a field to collect all the artefacts for themselves will damage or even destroy its archaeological value. Unlike damage to nature that can never be put right so you could lose subsidies not just for a while but forever. So you risk losing vastly more than £1,000.

Regards

Silas Brown,
Grunter’s Hollow,
Worfield,
Salop

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Would you expect a subsidy if you were taking money to allow dozens of strangers to do this?

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Comedian Bill Bailey and other comedians including Jo Brand and Lee Mack are walking along The Ridgeway to raise money for the fight against Cancer. Bill started on Monday and will arrive in Avebury on Saturday. He’s walking Westwards, against the prevailing wind because, he says “if I’m walking into the wind, my hair does that thing like a dog hanging out of the car window – I look better, much cooler.”

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He also commented that the Ridgeway was stunning – “a beautiful bit of old England which is surprisingly remote.”

To offer support, text BILL5 to donate £5 to 70404, BILL10 to donate £10 to 70404, or donate online at tinyurl.com/y82ky8ss

 

Land for Sale: [see here].

“The land offers itself for a variety of uses to include agricultural, amenity, equestrian and the potential for future residential development (subject to gaining planning permission)

 

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In normal circumstances, in most places, the possibility of residential development wouldn’t even be worth mentioning. But this is Shropshire …

“Are you a club looking for land? 

“Let’s go digging have land in Wales, Lancashire and Devon that they can’t use. They are offering the land to clubs that might need it as it could be lost otherwise. Interested? Contact Paul at LGD either via Facebook or via their website.”

https://www.metaldetectingforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=94091#p837186

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Yes you read it right. Lets Go Digging, the commercial artefact hunting organisation that offers farmers up to £1,000 to allow their clients to remove archaeological artefacts from their fields, is now offering to transfer such permissions to others.

Let’s hope this latest humiliating blow to Britain’s reputation is temporary. DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove has said farm subsidies after Brexit must be earned. Maybe not letting such events take place on your land will be classed as worthy of being paid a subsidy.

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For many years PAS has studiously ignored all our ideas for reducing knowledge loss and protecting the buried archaeological resource. Which is strange, as those two aims are their whole raison d’etre. However, a Finds Liaison Officer has just taken notice and suggests we send a list of our suggestions to see what might be done.  It’s a great offer.

We thought we’d start by sending just one suggestion which goes to the heart of the matter. It’s that we think PAS should make it clear on their website that not reporting recordable metal detected archaeological finds is not merely irresponsible but immoral. Why? Because in a country where, in the 20 years PAS has existed, a small hobby has withheld 13 million bundles of knowledge from the public and science, such a statement is 20 years overdue.

PLUS, we think the gruesome and capacious underbelly of the hobby, see below, ought to be shown to the public and landowners, not ignored by officialdom. Let PAS do a bit more exposing and a bit less praising.

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Here’s Donald Trump dramatically throwing a 10,000 page environmental report on the floor saying “These binders could be replaced by just a few simple pages, it would be just as good. It would be much better.”

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It’s a salutary warning for Britain. Even the best, most authoritative advice can sometimes be ignored, given a strong enough agenda to do so.

Which brings us to Stonehenge:
It is to be hoped that following UNESCO’s ruling that a short tunnel is unacceptable, Highways England will not produce an amended short tunnel as their preferred route which is still a short tunnel.

Watch this space….

A Personal post by Alan S.

Regular readers will know of my love for all things Cornish – in particular the prehistoric heritage of the Duchy area, which has been covered here from time to time.

I am pleased to say that, although it took much longer than originally anticipated after my first visit to the area in 2002, I am finally moving from the smoke of London to reside in Cornwall!

My nearest major monument upon arrival at my destination will be a major tor enclosure, occupied between 3700 and 3400 BC. The tor is visible from miles around and is a major landmark in the area, partly due to a 90ft Celtic Cross, erected on the summit of the tor as a memorial to Francis_Basset, 1st Baron de Dunstanville and Basset.

I’m talking of course, of Carn Brea, situated between Redruth and Camborne.

Valentine’s Series, Souvenir Post Card

The site was excavated in the early 1970’s by Roger Mercer, when traces of platforms for Neolithic long houses were found within the ramparts. In fact, the excavations coined the use of a new site type, ‘tor enclosure’, of which several further examples have since been identified within Cornwall.

Over 700 leaf-shaped flint arrowheads found clustered around the main entrance to the enclosure have been interpreted as one of the earliest indications of ‘warfare’, evidence that the site was attacked by warriors armed with bows and there were also suggestions that the houses had been burned down.

©Cornwall Historic Environment Service.

The hilltop has been the site of human activity through many periods since, with finds of Bronze Age tools, Iron Age (and much later) mining activity, and even a small number of Roman period finds.

There is a well on the northern slopes which is related to a folk tale of a Giant, who picked a fight with another nearby Giant, ‘Bolster’ who lived on St Agnes Beacon. This story is duplicated throughout Cornwall – the Giants of Trencrom and St Michael’s Mount for instance having a similar tale of combat.

To say I’m excited to be moving to the area would be an understatement, and I look forward to bringing  more news and stories of the Cornish prehistoric period to the Heritage Journal in future months.

 

Recent advice to colleagues from a well known detectorist: .

“It helps to mark the envelope ‘Numismatic Specimen’ rather than ‘roman coin’ thus helping to deflect the attention of prying eyes.”
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