Heritage Action have set up a new Public Forum for the discussion of (almost) "anything relating to ancient heritage promotion and protection". This is the second attempt, the first one was invaded a few years ago by metal detectorist trolls (and most shamefully an archaeologist who supported them in their intent to block discussion - you know who you are) which forced the closure of the facility. The new forum therefore is for the polite discussion of all heritage topics except artefact hunting…
I welcome this move. Although artefact hunting and collecting are an important heritage issue, the kneejerk highjacking of any attempt to discuss the issue by the "metal detectorist mob mentality" once again highlights the utter failure of current policies on artefact hunting in Britain. It shows how far we are from the stated aim of "best practice" and true "partnership". Let the public see that UK "metal detectorists": cannot be trusted to take part in any discussion of the place of their hobby in heritage policy and practice. Let them ask themselves why.
I suggest that since "metal detecting" cannot civilly be openly and frankly discussed as part of heritage policy and practice on the Heritage Action Public Forum , the Portable Antiquities Scheme (who are paid to do this) should open a Public Forum where it CAN.