Thursday, 13 January 2011

Listen, Can you Hear Anything?

Central Searchers yet again offering the chance to metal detect where no-one except them and their self-selected set of intellectually challenged customers think is right. The excuse for running a commercial mass grab event on ridge and furrow at last year’s “Crassfest” was ”we have now run out of cropped land to search”. This time (at next Saturday’s event near Keyston, Cambridgeshire - click on Club Digs here) it’s the weather – as it will “make a pleasant change from all the mud”.

No doubt it will. “Nearly 200 acres of Ridge and furrow” will be something their particular type of customers will be very pleased with. As the self-proclaimed "Ridge & Furrow Master" Craig Slater, the Chairman of the Wakefield District Relic Hunters ("the Yorkshire Raiders") and their Detectorist of the Year 2009 commented to Heritage Action who wrote an article about this fiasco:
“I go on Ridge and furrow regular and make no opologies (sic) for doing so, So shove your morals where the sun dont shine you set of do gooders.”
So it’s clear, Central Searchers and their customers feel free to (and are free to) ignore official guidelines on running metal detecting rallies and to carry on detecting on permanent pasture and ridge & furrow ad infinitum.

It seems that it isn’t just any old ridge and furrow they are targeting. The Keyston Conservation Area Character Statement section 7.6 says
“The parish contains some 285 acres of visible ridge and furrow remains, and has been identified by the recent Midland Open Fields Survey as being of regional or national significance”!
Just two things remain to be clarified: Will PAS be there on Saturday to witness it and will they or CBA or any other of the bodies that signed the Guidance on Metal-detecting Rallies say a single solitary word against it?

Can you hear a pin dropping? Or was it the sound of a completely indefensible national conservation strategy shuffling its feet while allowing these people to make money out of wanton acts of cultural vandalism?

See also my earlier post on the events subsequent to the 2010 crassfest: Wednesday, 9 June 2010 Central Searchers Dislikes Breeches and Will Avoid Them in Future. They prefer Gortex apparently.
Vignette: How likely is it that British archaeologists will speak out?

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