Paul Barford has analysed the National Council for Metal Detecting’s latest attack on the proposed Institute of Detectorists. They seem to have two main objections.

1.) They hate the idea of a step towards licensing. But why? Why would people object to a country having a say in how people exploit what belongs to it? It’s the loft clearance model again: “trust us, we’ll clear your granny’s belongings and you can be sure we’ll behave well”.

2.) But even more they HATE the idea that they themselves may be circumvented when it comes to informing landowners. Oh the horror! The idea that the very people whose land it is should be given proper information and not left to be solely informed by an unregulated, self-interested random bloke at their gate!

The NCMD have form on this matter and ALWAYS oppose reform. Right now, they’ve refused to sign the official Code of Responsible Detecting – how much clearer a confession could there be thast they should be out of the loop? But look at this from 2010, our list of the things they had resisted by then:
“Don’t criticise us or we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t tell us what to do or we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t undertake surveys of nighthawking else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t let PAS dominate us else we’ll stop reporting” (and later: “Don’t reduce PAS’s funding else we’ll stop reporting”), “Don’t impose a Code of Responsible Detecting else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t discuss licensing us else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t ban inappropriate rallies else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t impose restrictions under stewardship schemes else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t tighten up EBay else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t ever, ever, ever short change us on the Treasure rewards else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t abate our Treasure rewards for not calling an archie out else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t talk of using some of our Treasure rewards to finance proper excavations of our findspots else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t write to farmers without us dictating what is to be said else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t extend the items covered by the Treasure Act beyond exactly what we say else we’ll stop reporting.” (Rich, is it not, when the majority of detectorists….. don’t report!)


So isn’t it time that Britain imposed it’s own rules on what happens to it’s own buried heritage and gave the raggle-taggle self-interested NCMD army zero say in the matter?

Sarah Palin, 2007: There is no evidence there are fewer polar bears these days”. NCMD has been talking damaging nonsense for much longer.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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