Metal Detectorists on your land – what farmers need to know

Started by gash, November 02, 2018, 11:14:39 am

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The recent discovery of a haul of Iron Age jewellery on farmland in Staffordshire could make the hobby of metal detecting more popular than ever.

It's a leisure pursuit with a reputation of being for loners and geeks, but there's no denying the growing popularity of metal detecting.

Every weekend thousands of enthusiasts flock to beaches and farmland up and down the country in the hope they will find buried treasure.

According to a recent study by Historic Environment Scotland, they are motivated by an interest in history and a desire to find out more about the past.

But there's also the allure of finding something of value - like the Staffordshire Hoard, which was unearthed in 2009 and was eventually jointly purchased by a museum and gallery for £3.285m.

A collection of gold jewellery, which could date back to 400BC, was also unearthed on a dairy farm in Staffordshire just before Christmas.

Here is some advice for farmers in case they are approached by a metal detectorist wishing to access their land.

What are the advantages of allowing detectorists on to your farm?

One of the biggest benefits is that it is an opportunity to find out more about the history of the land you own, because detectorists will find things that otherwise might not be found, says Andrew Gillett, legal adviser at the CLA.

The presence of people around the farm may also discourage other trespassers, including fly-tippers, as well as provide an extra pair of eyes to keep watch for sick or straying livestock.

Detectorists can also provide a useful service in clearing away unwanted bits of rubbish that might cause problems if ingested by an animal.

Although farmers can charge people for access, generally any payment is very small, says Crispin Mahony, director of Savills estate management.

"However, some landowners allow rallies to take place with a set donation per person going to a charity, which can be positive."

Read more :  https://www.fwi.co.uk/business/metal-detectorists-land-farmers-need-know
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