Discussion with self-appointed "ethical metal detectorists" always disappoints, it's usually a front for something else. The way to "take a more ethical approach" is to look critically at what is happening and understand its effects, not throw accusations at others who are trying to do just that and bring it out into open discussion.
So it is that Andy Baines first of all attacks Heritage Action and its views on irresponsible metal detecting (on the basis that he finds it difficult to understand how their Artefact Erosion Counter works) then when somebody takes the time to put the record straight about the Counter, they too get the metal-detectorist treatment: ("Paul loses his cool again", Thursday, 13 February 2014).
Trying to discuss anything with metal detectorists is always a major frustration, and I find is generally not worth the time and aggro. I really see no evidence that in my original reply to the doubts (derision) expressed by this metal detectorist about the Artefact Counter that I "lose my cool". It is however disappointing to have to explain the same thing over and over again to members of this group of people simply because they cannot be bothered to do the footwork themselves and check out what it is they are writing about before they decide to simply trash and dismiss it because it does not fit their preconceptions. That is no way for them to convince the rest of us that it is worth spending time trying to talk with them. I am sure the PAS has exactly the same problems, which is why it gave up any serious efforts more than a decade ago.
But read it for yourself and decide whether the metal detectorist is talking any sense at all, I say he is not. Read my reply and decide whether it merits the extraordinary response it received. I'd say this response indicates unequivocally that he had and has no intention whatsoever of attempting to enter into any kind of dialogue. So much for his "bid to change the views of this exciting hobby".
TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this behaviour, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners" of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy".