A reader has drawn my attention to another group of UK metal detectorists organizing commercial artefact hunting "meets" which is using the "grass" template with cannabis leaf logo which we saw on the Hunterscorporate website. This one is Sussex Heritage Hunters run by Andy Paxford, Bognor Regis, West Sussex. They go out hunting 'club sites' "at least twice a month on a sunday, land and weather permitting". Here are the "club rules" - "no drugs" it says, but nothing here about the Code of Practice for Responsible Detecting or recording finds with the PAS. Like the "Hunters" it says ALL finds will be "shown" to the landowner, but there is nothing enforcing this in the club's membership rules. The links page does not go to any site connected with finds recording - but it does go to this, but more significantly Sussex Coins and Antiquities.
I have coins and artefacts from Celtic right through until the 18th century, most of the items are found within the British Isles, but some come from places in Europe and this will be stated within the description".Well, it does not, not normally, in fact for very few of the pieces is any kind of provenance mentioned, some say things like "found in Nottinghamshire". I did not find a single find offered by Mr Garrett which had a PAS number. I found a gold coin of Anastasius ("found Hampshire") which seems not to be in the PAS database. I was bemused by what the dealer considers to be "Bronze Age artefacts". More to the point I was a little puzzled to see presented as British metal detector finds the sort of things that are coming from "Balkan" sources (though its difficult to tell as the pictures are so small and indistinct). Is this dealer sure he really knows where the stuff people are selling him comes from? Terry garrett's web-based shop has no logo indicating membership of any antiquity dealers' association, no mention of a code of ethics, no assurances of legal origin of the finds offered from "places in Europe". It does say however that any finds found not to be genuine will be refunded - rather odd for somebody selling fresh metal detector finds isn't it? (To have one and not the other). No mention I could see of export licences for shipping abroad either.
So what does Sussex Heritage Hunters consider "responsible" detecting? From their website it seems to consist ONLY of: No night-time detecting or visiting 'club' sites alone, filling in all holes, shutting gates, reporting damage to farm property, wearing headphones, no drugs or booze while tekking, searchers must be NCMD/FID members. That's it. None of that other nonsense about "best practice" that other definitions of "responsible detecting" contain. Stay off the booze, fill in yer 'oles and shut the gates, and there'll be no archaeological damage done at all, eh? And anything nice you find, Terry Garrett will no doubt be willing to make a fair offer.