Dear Friends,

Here’s a metal detecting rally organiser who makes loads of money out of denuding Britain’s archaeological record, blatantly boasting he uses Google Earth to target the places his customers from “around the world” can denude it the most.

No point repeating it, either you think that’s an outrage or you don’t. But as a farmer, one thing annoyed me a lot. He says they found a hoard at one event and when they told the farmer he just responded with “whatever”. Now, maybe that’s true, but what gets me is that exact that type of story has been told hundreds of times on detecting forums, always painting farmers as bumpkins, ignorant and disinterested, enlightened and guided by hero-detectorists.

Well Friends, as you know, to run a farm these days you need to be very  smart and educated and multi-skilled whereas to sweep a toy over soil for thousands of hours for half your life you don’t, to put it mildly. Just read some detecting forums and some farming ones to see the truth of that. So it seems to me if something as precious as heritage is to be protected, it ought to be done by farmers. And it would be, if only PAS directed its outreach away from stoney ground.

Silas Brown
Grunters Hollow Farm


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting