In an update to the post "The most irresponsible metal detecting events in the universe" (27-28/10/2013), Heritage Action point out that wrongdoing by detectorists is always portrayed as confined to “a tiny minority” but in today's update note that:
500 detectorists – ( 12.5% of all detectorists! ) – attended Central Searchers’ Summer Rally this year. A County Archaeologist is leaving after 28 years and isn’t being replaced. But one detectorist has just said: “I hope she ends up working on the streets….detectorist’s across the Country will raise a glass and rejoice at her departure” . Another has said: “Good riddance! Another one bites the dust….. They never learn. All those years spent bitching about detectorists amounts to her demise….but detecting moves on!” Is it unreasonable to hope that archaeologists and politicians (and decent thoughtful detectorists!) will drop the ubiquitous “tiny minority” phrase from all their comments on metal detecting? It’s clearly inappropriate, the minority is not tiny and the misdescription has helped sustain a great deal of wrongdoing and cultural loss for far too long.It strikes me that considering the PAS is now into its 17th year and has now cost in excess of 15 million pounds, the British public has a right to know just how well it is doing and not be fobbed off with glib assurances which bear no relation to reality. How extensive, really, are best practice and a true "partnership" between archaeological heritage management and artefact hunting in England and Wales?