Although no longer involved in drafting it, detectorist got their dearest wish from the new detecting code for they can still tell farmers officialdom recommends signing a finds agreement to “avoid disputes” over ownership. It’s just not true. The finds all belong to the farmer (or occasionally the State) so can never be claimed by a detectorist unless a finds agreement is signed! What the new Code ought to be saying is:


All finds must be handed to the landowner before you leave as they are his. He can then get independent advice on what they are and what they are worth (and whether he gives you anything).”


Instead, farmers are told – and shown in writing – that officialdom wants them to sign away their rights, even though it’s totally against their interest. Here are the bodies which have let farmers down:
National Museum of Wales / PAS Cymru
Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers
British Museum / Portable Antiquities Scheme
Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Council for British Archaeology
Country Land & Business Association
Institute for Archaeology (University College London)
Historic England, National Farmers Union
Royal Commission on the Historical & Ancient Monuments of Wales
Society of Museum Archaeologists.



More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting