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It was back in 2014 and it went to the heart of what’s indefensible about British detecting rallies and how landowners are let down by the authorities. No one turned up and PAS has kept schtum about its own deplorable and damaging silence on the matter.

Dear Colleagues,

Me and the wife

Surrey County Council say their metal detecting policy “is based on the premise that an applicant will be considered to be part of an ongoing archaeological survey of SCC properties. Applicants will in particular be expected to have a proven track record in reporting and recording. Finds would normally remain the property of Surrey County Council.

Now Friends, here’s a heck of a question. If that’s the premise on which they work in order to protect their own interest as owners and the public’s interest as stakeholders, how come we landowners aren’t advised to adopt it too? Beats me. If you have a moment please email anyone involved in British portable antiquities policy and ask them: “Should landowners hold rallies only on the Surrey Council Premise and if not why not?”

If you get no reply, ask again. And again. This country is owed an answer. Meanwhile, I’m about to hold a detecting rally myself here in Shropshire using the Surrey Council Premise. Will the BM say well done Silas? Will lots of detectorists turn up? Who knows? I’ll let you know.

Best wishes,

Silas Brown,
Grunters Hollow Farm,




More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


November 2022

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