Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Sent to the BBC

Among the comments to the "Inside Out" text on illegal metal detecting (so-called 'nighthawking'), the first four selected by the BBC are of note:

night flyer

you do everything by the book, does it work, no. Do you get a pat on the back, NO. You mention that you are a detectorist you are a condemned man , you have to wait years for your finds to be recorded and then if they have not been lost , you get half of what they are worth.


i have just started doing metal detecting and i think you should be able to go anywhere to do it. The way to control it is by having some sort of licence that costs a few pounds. If you are caught detecting without this licence you are liable to prosecution. People that are caught nighthawking are banned from getting this licence and if they persist in doing it they are charged with theft.

The finds should belong to us all if you buy a detector and spend the time to find then they should be yours. Some of the items being found have been deposited before these people owned the land so what gives them the right to own them. Finders keepers loser weepers.


Night hawking is my one and only hobby and I absolutely love it. I got into metal detecting 2 years ago and basicly I am too late in the game to find any decent land in the day, so I have to night hawk.
I dont condone nighthawking, but people like Tony Robinson have potrayed detectorists in such bad light, that gaining permission from farmers is getting harder and harder, and so is the introduction of the stewardship scheme. So detectorists that were once as honest as the day was long that they detected now find themselves detecting later than they expected.
So, basically according to these metal detector owners, it's everybody else's fault, not theirs that there is illegal activity going on. It takes too long to get yer reword munny payed en' then it's not enuff and nobody thanks you for ripping the artefacts out. The landowners have no right to what their land contains, all property is theft, artefact hunters should be allowed to "go anywhere to do it" (I'm not quite clear how "Steven" defines nighthawking or how many times people should get away with it before eventually being charged with theft). All the decent land has been taken buy other artefact hunters. It's all Tony Robinson's fault and landowners don't want to let artefact hunters on their land, so they go there anyway to take things without their permission.

These comments were posted in March 2003. How much have attitudes been changed in this milieu by a further eight years of PAS "outreach"?

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