‘‘Landscapes of Detectorists” (just published) analyses the TV comedy’s “engagement with landscape, ecological resonances, and attention to place and identity. But is that really what detectorists do? Or are they simply after stuff?

A Wiltshire website (@VisitWiltshire) is clear landscape engagement doesn’t mean taking stuff: “If you’re planning to come and enjoy the timeless countryside in Wiltshire over the coming weeks, please have a look at our guidelines on how to visit responsibly … Respect our ancient landscapes. Please leave our landscapes as you find them

There are many ways people can harmlessly engage with landscape. To characterise metal detecting as one is false and misleading. It is the countryside which is bucolic and lyrical, not those who come to it. Wayne from Wallasey doesn’t come to the Marlborough Downs for the views but for what he can take home from there. Anyone disagree? English Heritage? Historic England? Rescue? CBA? PAS? No? Then no more lyrical talk, please. Detecting is exploitative.

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