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“Responsible metal detecting” produces 16,000 Google hits. But what about responsible farmers who say “NO, letting you hold a detecting rally here wouldn’t be in my interest or the country’s as PAS says it is almost impossible for archaeologists (when invited) to make a proper record of all objects found. That’s good enough for me. Why should I ignore PAS on the say-so of random unqualified blokes at my gate with vested interests?”

Archaeologists will be glad a Gloucestershire farmer has cancelled today’s and tomorrow’s Let’s Go Digging commercial rallies on his land because (so the organiser reports) attendees had been “disrespecting the land“. 5 more farms had also just been lost “for litter, gates, holes, ruts in grass and beer cans in hedges.”


UPDATE: Disappointingly though, the farmer has now relented for future events: “After speaking to our Gloucester farmer I have managed to stop us from losing these farms and can confirm we have still got them for future use”. So no gold medal for the farmer after all and soon he’ll be selling prospecting rights once more in situations where proper recording would be “almost impossible” if PAS attended, which they won’t be. How much are we all losing as a result of these twice-weekly events? And how much do farmers lose thanks to the nakedly acquisitive Let’s Go Digging rule, “finds worth up to £3,000 are the finder’s”? No-one knows the answer to either question, but “a great deal” is certain.


A “heritage hero” but only for a week!


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


April 2021

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