Archaeologists employed by PAS are mighty uncomfortable attending large “rallies”, whether commercial, “charitable” or acquisitive. It’s “hard to record everything” they say, which is polite speak for “there’s massive knowledge theft”.  Paul Barford has just highlighted an egregious EBay example:


The advertiser clearly thinks his product’s “cred” will be raised by saying a FLO was there but you can guess how much difference that made. Smiling encouragingly behind a desk in a tent has zero effect on someone in a field, and that’s not just true on battlefield sites but at every event where lots of acquisitive people with loads and loads of pockets, pouches and bags are doing whatever they want.

Over the years we’ve written loads about these blots on Britain’s conservation policy but nothing has changed. PAS attending rallies is akin to someone flogging a putrifying horse – everyone knows it won’t get up and gallop and the longer the delay the more harm it does to the land. It surely needs to put the national interest above its wish to avoid offending detectorists and to openly tell the public, farmers and the Government that rallies are massively damaging and shouldn’t be tolerated. But when will that happen?