It’s enough to make you weep. Here’s Kane Brides, Senior Research Officer in the Conservation Evidence team at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust:

“The best part of this job? Telling the farmer that their brood of Curlew have successfully fledged & thanking them for all their support & cooperation in delaying & managing the hay cut. We couldn’t do this without our farmers, they are the guardians of these birds”


… which is in stark contrast to archaeological artefacts. Farmers are the sole guardians of those for without their assent there would be no metal detecting yet the archaeological Establishment does summersaults not to hammer home to them that the majority of detectorists fail to report finds. Why the difference? It’s not as if it would be difficult to say in the farming press:

“Most detectorists DON’T support or comply with the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales (2017) and if they show you a code it almost certainly won’t be that one. You may well wonder why!”

More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting