The Government has said metal detecting can resume, presumably because they think it is harmless exercise. But as everyone knows, it’s not primarily done for exercise, nor is it harmless. So it would be good to think someone official had explained that truth to them rather than leaving it to detectorists to say how wholesome and innocent it all is.

But whoever DID advise them failed to explain something crucial. Legally and morally everything found should be handed to the owner of the land that day BUT if they do that in a pandemic they may infect him. So, in allowing detecting too soon the Government has implied it’s OK to take home someone else’s (sometimes valuable) property. But what happens then? Will they all POST the finds to the farmers? Or will many just keep them? We all know the answer to that!

So it’s hardly rocket science. On the basis of inadequate information the Government has allowed detecting to resume far too soon, thereby profoundly damaging the financial interests of landowners.

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“Here’s what I found in your fields plus a virus I brought with me!”

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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