Monday, 12 November 2012

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Why do not All Responsible Metal Detecting Clubs Follow Suit?

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Heritage Action note a laudable example of "responsible artefact hunting".The Crawley Metal Detecting Group (sadly only only about 30 members) have a rule which couldn’t be simpler….
Crawley is in zone A of our  tripartite division of the metal detecting clubs in the British Isles. HA then raise the question why this is the only one of the several hundred metal detecting clubs in Britain, all of whom claim to support and encourage "responsible metal detecting" to actually enforce it among their members to uphold the good name of the club. The only one - unless someone cares to correct that and send a link to another one, two or two dozen. Heritage Action's comment:
Beyond denial, it’s a split amongst metal detectorists, a small version of a big one that nearly happened years ago until strangled by those who wished to retain “freedom” to not report finds to PAS. [...] After all [all metal detecting organizations in England and Wales] say they support recording and best practice, e.g.: The Federation of Independent Detectorists says it will “accept any responsible detectorist as a member”, The National Council for Metal Detecting says it was formed “to provide a democratic forum for responsible metal detector users” and UK Detectornet says it was formed “to bring together responsible detectorists everywhere”. So how come they talk the talk but none of them walks the walk?
Heritage Action go on to say that if you'd like to register on any metal detecting discussion list, you would soon find that despite the mollifying glib assurances, all their members appear (from their comments and lack of reaction to comments of others) to all be:
in thrall to those who won’t accept compulsory good practice. Sadly, it is those people, not those who wish to do the right thing by society, who have always been in control of detecting. In my opinion the Government should take due note. Words are very cheap.
It would obviously be expecting too much for any British archaeologist, let alone the Portable Antiquities Scheme, to chip in on this discussion.

By the way Crawley, is that everybody "declare some finds" or everybody "declare every single one of your potentially recordable finds"?  There is a huge (Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counterful of a) difference.

1 comment:

heritageaction said...

It's neither, it's anyone FOUND not declaring finds will be expelled.

Still, I am happy to believe everyone at Crawley behaves.

What is outrageous is that all the other detecting organisations tell the public their members are ex officio responsible yet don't have rules that insist that they are. It means the government is negotiating with a hobby that is plain fibbing about the nature of it's members.

 
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