The Treasure Registrar has quoted Dr Lewis of the PAS as wondering if treasure rewards should be reduced to a token amount“. But we recall he opined after his 2011 fact finding trip to Denmark that the low rewards there “would not be attractive” to English detectorists. So why the change? He must know most detectorists still expect full value and many threaten recording strikes if not.

Could he have been advised that the Government’s post Brexit planning may mean the end of PAS and therefore of Treasure rewards? The one would surely involve the other for if archaeologists had been deemed unaffordable then giving rewards to artefact hunters would too, especially when outreach had been abandoned? Might the loss of outreach also prompt the Government to further disincentivise the activity by also banning the sale of non-treasure items with a hefty penalty for non-compliance?

Maybe he’s  been asked to see how detectorists would feel about it all? If so we can tell him: it would “not be attractive” to them. To say the least! “Only in it for the history, honest” is a great line to tell farmers but we are pretty sure not getting any money will result in a mass loss of interest in the activity. So it’s all pretty ironic: 90% of detectorists in a 2016 forum poll said they were voting Brexit! Looks like they’ll get their wish.



More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting