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Is now the time to announce commercial detecting rallies will NEVER resume?

Detectorists are lobbying hard to be allowed back. But now is the perfect time to more than halve the cultural damage their activity causes by announcing there will  never be a resumption of the worst element of their activity, massive commercial rallies. As PAS says: “Most archaeologists think metal-detecting rallies can be damaging to archaeology. […]

Are metal detecting rallies: “seedbeds of human generosity, ethical mindfulness, and care for the world at large”?

An academic writes: “Empirical studies increasingly testify to the capacity for archaeological and cultural heritage sites to engender wonder, transformation, attachment, and community bonding among diverse individuals…… Following political theorist Jane Bennett, these sites have the power to ‘enchant’ and, in so doing, they are seedbeds of human generosity, ethical mindfulness, and care for the […]

Farmer Brown: a ticklish question – are metal detecting rallies fully insured?

. Dear Fellow Landowners, Last week a chap asked if he and 500 chums could hold a detecting rally on my farm “for charity and Britain”. I support both so I said yes, if you’re insured. He laughed and said “Definitely. Through the National Council for Metal Detecting. For £10,000,000“. But last night, down at […]

For the avoidance of doubt: charity detecting rallies ARE a complete racket

To clarify yesterday’s article, hundreds of farmers annually give permission for metal detecting having been told it’s “for charity”. Yet the finds never go to the charity, they go to the detectorists. In our 2011 article “Charity Metal Detecting Rallies: A racket exposed” we showed them up for what they are: If communities are dead […]

Government signals mass metal detecting rallies to be banned – at last!

It seems the dislike of large rallies by PAS and others has finally fed into Government thinking. See the current Consultation about a post-Brexit environmental land management system. It contains aspirations that would make holding large rallies impossible: .. 1.)“The system will help us to deliver our manifesto commitment to be the first generation to […]

Farmer Brown: shouldn’t the main beneficiaries of detecting rallies be the landowners and the Public?

Dear Fellow Landowners, . Yesterday the Journal highlighted “The Surrey Council Premise” (i.e. any detecting rally should be run as a Council archaeological survey with participants having proven records of reporting and all finds being Council property).   But back in 2015 I asked a question about it that no-one has yet answered: “If that’s the […]

Director of CBA asks: “What do we do about metal detecting rallies?”

This week Mike Heyworth, Director of the CBA tweeted: “Off to the British Museum to chair meeting of the Finds Best Practice working group. What do we do about metal detecting rallies?” We suggest the answer depends if they wish to protect the archaeological resource. And landowners. Or PAS. For as the meeting participants will […]

Farmer Brown: “charity detecting rallies”, the damaging fiction no-one mentions.

Dear Friends, This week a bloke with a plastic halo and a large finds bag asked if I’d host a detecting rally “for charity”. I pointed out that he wasn’t the first and that every other detecting rally is now pitched to landowners and local communities as “for charity”, clearly to increase the likelihood that […]

“Charity Metal Detecting Rallies”: A racket exposed

by Nigel Swift. Detecting forum UKDN recently made a new rule forbidding reference to “sales of coins or artefacts on EBay”. They deny it’s to keep it from the public that many of them are engaged in selling finds but it’s hard to see how telling people to keep quiet about something isn’t keeping something […]

Running detecting rallies: it’s a living, innit?

“The vilest deeds like poison-weeds – Bloom well in open air”   The Keyston Metal detecting Rally took place a week ago adjacent to the busy A14 dual carriageway in Cambridgeshire and in full view of umpteen thousand passing motorists. It was on 200 acres of ridge and furrow pasture, the fourth time in a year Central Searchers have targeted such land, flouting the Code […]