If detecting rallies left visible scars they’d have been banned decades ago. But they don’t. Here’s one held just below the Hackpen White Horse in 2005. “Don’t worry, we all report everything to PAS” they told the elderly landowner, the late Lord Onslow.

And here’s the site just this week …

The horse is still visible thanks to the efforts of the dedicated volunteers who re-chalk it periodically, but gone are the cars of the 420 detectorists, and gone are the artefacts they found which are now in Leicester, Liverpool and Leeds and which will never return.

It is to be hoped those currently considering reforms will bear in mind that the scars left across our countryside by thousands of rallies are massive but subterranean and invisible.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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