Last Wednesday was the 3rd anniversary of the revised official Code of Responsible Metal Detecting but also the 3rd anniversary of the metal detecting organisations not endorsing it! There can be only one reason for that.

So it’s high time landowners were told about it because every detectorist claims to be responsible by virtue of membership of a detecting organisation when it clearly can’t be true. That leaves both the interests of the farmer and the archaeological heritage at risk. The best way to rectify the situation would be to amend the official Guidance for Landowners. by inserting a simple clause:

“The official archaeological advice to metal detectorists is to strictly abide by the official Code for Responsible Detecting and landowners should keep in mind that sadly the Code has NOT been endorsed by the National Council for Metal Detecting or the Federation of Independent Detectorists”.

(At the same time, two highly damaging and misleading sentences in that document are crying out to be amended: 1.) The phrase “Landowners may wish to see the objects” should be changed to “it is vital you insist you are shown the objects” and 2.) The phrase “It is recommended that all archaeological finds should be recorded with PAS” should be changed to “It is vital all archaeological finds are reported to PAS”.)

No point in waving your NCMD membership documents at me. They aren’t even signed up to the official Code of Responsible Detecting!

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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