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By Nigel Swift

If you want to go metal detecting on Dorset Council land: you need to get permission through the Historic Environment Record Service and have it signed off by the senior archaeologist. Any finds remain the property of Dorset Council.

But that’s not the way everywhere. This week I wrote to Xxxx Council asking for permission to metal detect their land (name withheld as I really don’t want anyone else asking them) and had this reply: “Good Afternoon Nigel, All that we as a Council require, is for you to firstly become a member of NCMD or FID, Once you have proof of membership I shall issue you with a permit valid for one year, and a list of sites on which we allow metal detecting. Any finds may be kept.”

So no archaeologist is involved and I can keep what I find. Did the people of Xxxx agree for the Council to give away their property?

Both these Councils can’t be right – and there are lots of Councils which have similar policies to each of them. I know which I think is right, and I know PAS agree with me, so why the damaging shambles?


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


August 2022

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