The Government’s lax COVID regulation for detecting rallies (hundreds of people allowed so long as “social interaction limited to groups of six or less which do not mingle”) has allowed large scale events to continue weekly. Just today 260 detectorists are in Wilsford, Wiltshire “next to and joining the Roman hoard field and fields we had the 12 silver densrius coins and hundreds of Roman bronze , hammered coins , Axe heads , Celtic units , Saxon & Roman brooches“.

At present rallies carry an obvious health risk for both participants and locals (see yesterday’s article). Plus, at all times, they cause massive heritage damage through non-reporting of finds, Their only “defence” is they reveal hidden history but non-reporting shows the opposite and a recent announcement by Let’s Go Digging, the company running today’s event, reveals the true motivation: “Anything you find under £3000 is yours without having to split with farmers“.

Rallies really have no place in a self-respecting society and their rarity elsewhere proves the point – 99% of the world’s metal detecting rallies take place here in Britain. The Government should find a way to make them legally impossible – and would do so if only PAS would advise them to. They still could, today, with a simple phone call.

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A very British scene

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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