Thursday, 28 August 2014

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Staffordshire Countryside Officer gets it Wrong


Footpath men
A reader has pointed out to me that the Staffordshire metal detectorist who hides his identity under the name "Timesearch" (the one that started the discussion on throwing away loads of artefacts artefact hunters do not want for their own collections) has elsewhere made another revealing comment (Re: Sending of letters [about search and take permissions for metal detecting] Postby timesearch Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:44 pm):
The problem is making sure it [the letter] goes to the landowner., as the tenant may say yes without realising they can't legally give you permission [...] Never having been lucky enough to find anything which comes under the Treasure Act this has never been a problem, but you could find yourself in the position of finding the next big hoard and not being able to claim your half because you only had the tenants permission. Land Agents are different to tenants, as they work for the landowner. As a countryside officer working for a council I could legally sign on their behalf, but the tenants couldn't.
"Timesearch" gives the impression that he thinks not having permission from the landowner only becomes important when a detectorist finds something which comes under the Treasure Act and "not being able to claim your half". This is precisely the sort of attitude towards the appropriation of ownership of artefacts which Farmer Brown is talking about over on Heritage Journal. This is disgraceful, and you would have thought that seventeen years outreach by the fifteen-million pound PAS would have sorted this out by now.

It was also pointed out to me that on this blog I have already discussed the views of another detectorist from the Walsall region who has 27 years experience as a "local authority countryside officer" who was asking about artefact hunting on environmental stewardship land. See my discussion here (PACHI Sunday, 26 February 2012, 'Focus on Metal Detecting: Artefact Hunting on Environmental Stewardship Land'). Are these two gentlemen one and the same?

1 comment:

heritageaction said...

Just to clarify, since he failed to ask permission from the landowner anything he found he stole. Yes?
Will he now be contacting the owner to return the loot? Or are Walsall's countryside officers entitled to nighthawk?

(Watch out for the hasty "I never found anything" ....)

 
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