Dear Fellow Landowners,

This week a question posed on a metal detecting forum has revealed a profound truth about the activity: “How many of you would like to go back in time and give your best find back to the person who dropped it?”.

Unsurprisingly, lots of the detectorists said yes they would give their best find to the person who used to own it. But of course, that’s impossible as the original owner is unknown and long dead. What WOULD be possible is to promptly deliver it to the person who now owns it – who is both known and alive and who has just given them permission to be there.

Yet that, as you know Dear Friends, rarely happens. To qualify for fair dealing from most detectorists you have to be nameless and dead and not have given permission to detect. Worth thinking about next time one of them wants to go on your fields and says they’re only interested in history.

Oh, and if you wonder where your property is, it could be in one of more than twenty thousand private houses or it might be one of the thousands of detecting finds listed on EBay or exhibited on the Sale of Detecting Finds Facebook Group.


Silas Brown
Grunter’s Hollow Farm,


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