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herding-cats.

Yet another tomorrow, and more next week.

What will posterity say?

Detectorists claim we want detecting banned. No. We just want them compelled to behave. That would benefit 65 million people. They ought to support us as the French have just benefited their whole population in a way British detectorists would hate. They’ve decreed that finds from land which has changed hands since 7 July now belong to the state! That makes Britain’s strategy of endless pleading for voluntary good behaviour look pretty foolish.

Clever, the French. They’re saying so you’re only in it for the history. Fine. Please keep your passion for history. But not the finds. They’re ours. British detectorists are desperately spinning that as a bad thing for France. See this from the European Council for Metal Detecting:`“Overall, this is quite clearly bad news for the metal detectorists in France, as this new law will severely restrict their ability to participate in the cultural life of the French society and prevent them from contributing to the discovery and protection of archaeological heritage.

So they’ve made it very clear, they’ll only be giving something to society if they’re allowed to pocket the finds. How that’s “in it for the love of history” is a question the British Establishment seems unable to answer or even address. This very week Paris launched an 1,800 strong uniformed “incivility brigade” to reduce uncouth behaviour on the streets. Yet the only measure the British take to tackle uncouth and culture-harming behaviour in our fields is to pay 45 people to beg detectorists to behave, that’s all. Imagine! A civilised country with no statutory constraints upon mass culture-damaging. Who’d vote for that?

86% of detectorists on the Minelab metal detecting forum said they were voting Brexit.

86% of detectorists on the Minelab metal detecting forum said they were voting Brexit. No prizes for guessing why.

Update 18//9/2016:

Paul Barford has exposed the plain truth behind the European Council for Metal Detecting’s “complaint”: Well, of course the new law is not there to encourage a “will to search for artefacts”. The aim of heritage preservation is to reduce the (merely) Collection Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Resource for private benefit and direct it to public benefit. Private heritage pocketing is detrimental to the interests of French (and European) society.”

Brexit has already ensured that the ECMD, because it was a British invention, is highly unlikely to be listened to in Europe and this latest demonstration of bad faith towards French heritage will hopefully ensure that’s the case. Blatant dishonesty doesn’t work at all.

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Not in archaeology but appropriately in Critical Thinking and Ethical Reasoning!

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exam1.

One wonders how many archaeologists would pass? All of them we suspect, providing their answers were kept confidential! Anyway, since we designed the Counter we thought we’d answer the question.

Q: How useful is the Erosion Counter as evidence of the Activities of metal detectorists?

A: It’s the very best guide there is. It must be, as it’s based on and confirmed by every one of the studies that have been carried out – by archaeologists, resource guardians and detectorists themselves. It has never been challenged by academics, quite the reverse, and the only opposition to it has been blanket denial (and abuse, and threats) by those with a vested interest in it being wrong. Its core conclusion, that 70% of detectorists don’t report all their recordable finds has recently been confirmed by the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

So in summary, the application of critical thinking and ethical reasoning leads us to conclude that the Counter is extremely useful as evidence of the activities of at least 70% of metal detectorists.

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Dear Fellow Landowners,

Last Sunday a bloke offered me £500 to allow a detecting rally in my top field! I asked  him what he thought they might find. “Nothing probably” he said, “we’re only interested in history – but if any treasure comes up you’ll get half”.

Talk like that should trigger alarm bells for any farmer. The truth is that 99.95% of the saleable artefacts they find aren’t treasure items so I was being offered only 0.025% of what they found and they were going to keep 99.975%. In MY bloody field! Think I’m making it up? Look at the Southern Detectorists Group pitch to landowners. It’s the same!

I sent my little “history lover” packing. It’s ironic that he came last Sunday, Hen Harrier Day when lots of selfless conservation-minded people (including my grandson Simon) were out demonstrating against their persecution. Bonkers Britain’s countryside is full of contrasting groups.

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silas share

Silas Brown
Grunters Hollow Farm
Worfield
Salop

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Megameet 2016 2

2 monuments

Egypt and the United Nations agreed yesterday to reroute a nearly completed motorway from the Giza Pyramids, saying the cost did not matter when it came to rescuing the only surviving wonders of the ancient world.

The eight-lane motorway, which passes within two miles of the three 4,500- year-old pyramids and the Sphinx, could be dismantled as early as next week, said Abdel-Halim Noureddin, Egypt’s chief antiquities official.

Mr Noureddin acknowledged the Egyptian government made a mistake in 1985 when it approved plans for the road near the plateau, listed as one of 440 UN World Heritage Sites. However, the important thing was rectifying the error.”

[ Cairo agrees diversion for pyramid motorway, The Independent 5 April 2005 ]

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(Note: Stonehenge is not in Egypt it is in Britain. It is not in the care of the Egyptian Government but the British one together with The National Trust and English Heritage who claim to be world exemplars in good conservation practice.)

A range of leading naturalists plus the former heads of Natural England, English Nature, the RSPB and the National Trust have issued grave warnings about the potential effect of Brexit on Britain’s countryside. We’re highlighting their letter here because the bulk of archaeological protection is closely linked to environmental protection measures (and mainly financed by European money) and therefore of equal concern. Telling excerpts from their letter include the following:

  • “Far from being ‘red tape’, the rules and regulations coming out of Brussels have been “critical” to improving the quality of Britain’s water, air and natural environment”
  • “It’s vital to recognise that virtually the entire legal protection for our environment here in Britain derives from European safeguards”
  • “UK politics has a tendency to be short term and see the natural environment as an impediment to economic growth, and EU agreements help mitigate this by encouraging us to be more long term in our public policy.”
  • “If the UK were to pull out of the EU the Government would be under huge pressure from industry to water down environmental protections in areas like energy efficiency to help the UK to become more competitive against our former European partners.”
  • Our air, water and land are kept clean by European laws.  And rightly so, because pollution knows no national boundaries.  We ignore these protections at our peril.”

How about visiting The Rollright Stones?

…………… or Menac, Carnac?!

Why have staff from the National Trust (NT) been suggesting the short Stonehenge tunnel would be beneficial for wildlife?

It is proposed that only a little over half of the present road would be inside a tunnel – the remainder either side would be converted into four lanes of traffic travelling much faster through the World Heritage Site (WHS). And to quote a National Road Death Survey dating from the early part of this century: “High traffic speed increased the likelihood of many mammal species, including fox, badger and roe deer, and also the tawny owl, falling victim to vehicles as it reduces the time available for drivers and animals to react to danger.” This supposed ‘benefit’ projected onto the short tunnel depends then on which side of the National Trust fence the wildlife happens to be on!

Big Brown Hare, Jane Tomlinson, Meritage Action

Big Brown Hare, Jane Tomlinson, Heritage Action

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