Wednesday, 18 March 2009

On the trail of the missing strategic report


Writing yesterday I idly clicked on a link in one of my own old posts here, broken. It happens sometimes, so I set about fixing it. I hit a snag.

Am I the only one who cannot get the links to the recently virtually- published "Nighthawking Report" to open? It was available online on English Heritage's HELM (Historic Environment Local Management) website and the PAS website. Both links are currently inactive. A web search suggests that all who have discussed it used the same links, there seems to be no other. Well, I thought, maybe English Heritage has moved it. I used the site's own search engine to look for the term "Nighthawking" - no results. "Aha", think I, "they've moved it to their own perennially not-terribly-user-friendly site, maybe". That has a search engine. No results. If it's out there on the web, it's been sneakily tucked away somewhere that is more difficult to find. Maybe somebody can tell us where.

So its a bit like one of those "find Wally" pictures. Where has EH hidden the strategic report on illegal artefact hunting, and why is it not accessible where it used to be? We may recall no sooner was it out than a certain central institution in partnership with artefact hunters and collectors was busy contradicting what other central institutions were saying about the results of the report, then a pirate recording scheme added its own storm-in-a-teacup "statement" to the fuss. So it would be helpful if we could refer to the source document which should be permanently accessible somewhere where we can all find it easily. So why isn't it? Why was it not produced in paper form? No wonder there's not much proper debate in Britain about artefact hunting if people keep losing sight of the evidence.

3 comments:

dandan said...

Link should be: http://www.finds.org.uk/documents/finalNH.pdf

Marcus Preen said...

Link should be: http://www.finds.org.uk/documents/finalNH.pdf

No, doesn't work for me.

Paul Barford said...

You are right Mr Preen. From this link, I get a "file is damaged and cannot be repaired" message after a long wait. Perhaps one or other of the factions in the wonderful world of UK "metal detecting" have hacked it because it does not say things the way they'd want it said?

 
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