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Dear Fellow Landowners,

In a few weeks, we’ll all be getting requests to detect our fields once more. So now is a good moment to keep in mind that if you hear this: “Oh yes, I’m a responsible detectorist and a member of NCMD which supports responsible detecting as laid out in the Code of Responsible Detecting” it’s a big fat lie. The NCMD has REFUSED to sign the latest Code!

They say it’s because the Code lacks “clarity” on the subject of detecting on Registered Battlefields. But the real reason is that archaeologists have refused to say it is OK for NCMD members to detect on them unsupervised. (No wonder. A couple of unsupervised detectorists can obliterate the traces of a battle forever in a single afternoon!)

So, if you DO hear that lie please consider your decision very carefully.


Battlefields are treasured places, evoking emotional responses and understanding of our history in ways that can only be conveyed by their physical presence in the landscape. But battlefields are vulnerable to various modern-day pressures, many of which are outside the planning process and difficult to manage.” – [Historic England]. “More than 9 out of 10 adults agree or strongly agree with the statement ‘It is important to me that heritage buildings and places are well looked after” – [DCMS]. Allowing unsupervised metal detecting on battlefields and most other places is the opposite of looking after them.

Silas Brown,
Grunters Hollow,


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


April 2020

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