Friday, 24 October 2014

Focus on UK Metal Detecting; On my untouched pasture

Quote by "beaubrummell" from Essex (Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:58 am):
On my untouched pasture I need to dig down 15 inches plus to find something 300 years old or more !!


Beaubrummell said...

I made the above mentioned comment in response to a topic re artefacts being found on or near the surface on ploughed land.

Quite why you have posted it here bemuses me.

Paul Barford said...

Did you? It looks very much like a follow-on from your previous "beaubrummell wrote:Hmm, a gold stater found 3 inches down on pasture...............if only."

What you are referring to is a scene in the sitcom "Detectorists" where Andy is detecting on pasture and finds a gold coin.

But my interest in the comment is about the realities of YOUR detecting, not the fictional depiction.

I dare say it "bemuses" you because you have not the foggiest idea why I picked that comment out, presumably seeing nothing at all disturbing in what you wrote.

Can you tell my readers what the Code for Responsible Detecting in England and Wales says about detecting on untouched pasture and why you choose to ignore that and go your own sweet way?

How many other "responsible detectorists" in your acquaintance do nothing more than pay mere lip-service to the Code?

Why would you say it is, that nobody in that thread has picked you up on what you said?

Beaubrummell said...

I have permission from my local council to detect on the pasture I mention, and should I find anything that needs to be recorded I will contact my Finds Liaison Officer accordingly.

People like you like to tar all detectorists with the same brush whilst conveniently ignoring how many wondrous items now reside in museums thanks to metal detectorists.

99% of drivers obey the Highway Code, should we ban cars because 1% do not?

Pointless I know trying to ask someone like you to show any perspective.

Give my regards to Sir Tony Robinson.

Paul Barford said...

The question was not whether you are detecting legally (most do), but whether you are doing so in FULL compliance with the Code for Responsible Detecting in England and Wales "Pointless I know trying to ask someone like you to see any perspective," because you just don't want to see, do you?

There may be many "items now residing in museums thanks to metal detectorists", but thanks to metal detectorists and their selfish and unthinking attitudes (see above) many hundreds of thousands of artefacts have been ripped out of their archaeological context and disappeared with no record at all. It is the people responsible for that damaging information theft who should be made accountable for detectorists getting a bad press here.

Are you one of them? What does it mean "anything that needs to be recorded"?

Can you list here what you've recorded in the last three years with the Essex FLO?

Beaubrummell said...

"Anything that needs to be recorded" as per the following guidelines.

In the 18 months I have been detecting I have only found one item that met the criteria and Katie Marsden (Essex FLO) has had the item in her possession for nearly a year.

Recording and Reporting - Treasure
Under the Treasure Act 1996 finders of potential Treasure have a legal obligation to report such finds to the coroner within 14 days. Once reported, a coroner's inquest is held to determine whether or not the find is Treasure.
The following finds are Treasure if found after 24 September 1997 (or, in the case of point 2, if found after 1 January 2003):
Any object (other than a coin) that is at least 10% (by weight of metal) gold or silver and that it is at least 300 years old. Prehistoric objects will be Treasure if any part of it is gold or silver;
Any group of two or more metallic objects of any composition of prehistoric date that come from the same find;
All coins from the same find provided they are at least 300 years old when found. If the coins contain less than 10% gold or silver there must be at least ten of them;
Any object, whatever it is made of, that is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, another object that is Treasure; or
Any object that would previously have been Treasure Trove, but does not fall within the specific categories given above, i.e. objects that are less than 300 years old, made substantially of gold or silver, and that have been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovery and whose owners or heirs are unknown.
Museums have the opportunity to acquire Treasure. These finds are valued by an independent committee (Treasure Valuation Committee) and a reward (equal to the full market value of the find) is usually divided between the finder, the landowner and/or the occupier, unless there is agreement otherwise. All parties may wish to donate their share of the reward to enable a museum to acquire a find at reduced or no cost.
If a museum does not wish to acquire the find then it will be 'disclaimed' and handed back to the finder. The landowner will be informed of this decision and may object.
There is an illegal trade in non-reported Treasure finds, thus depriving landowners and occupiers of land of a reward and museums of the opportunity to acquire such finds. The non-reporting of Treasure is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 3 months and/or a fine of up to £5,000. The British Museum monitors eBay and elsewhere for unreported Treasure and liaises with the police as appropriate.
For a full definition of the Treasure Act 1996 and the Treasure Act Code of Practice see

Other (non-Treasure) finds
Apart from Treasure, finders have no other legal obligation to report finds (although human remains must be reported to the police). There might also be a requirement to record archaeological finds as part of any land stewardship agreements entered into.

Beaubrummell said...

For the benefit of your reader it says:-

Wherever possible working on ground that has already been disturbed (such as ploughed land or that which has formerly been ploughed), and only within the depth of ploughing. If detecting takes place on undisturbed pasture, be careful to ensure that no damage is done to the archaeological value of the land, including earthworks.

As far as I am aware I've not damaged the archaeological value of the land but I'm sure you'll disagree.

Strangely when archaeologists hire a JCB and dig a trench 50 yards long and 2 feet deep you put such thoughts to the backs of your minds.

I detect where I am legally allowed to do so via the permission granted to me by the local authority. It seems to me you should be haranguing the legislators.

Then again I'm sure you are.

Would have been nice to engage in a sensible debate on the subject but your views are clearly too entrenched for that.

Enjoyed your patronising diatribes.

Best regards

heritageaction said...

Oh dear, tried to kid people he'd only found one item when in fact he'd only found one TREASURE item. Pathetic. As is trying to wriggle out of detecting on undisturbed pasture.

I'm sure, if he's not dishonest, he'll now tell us exactly which Council says it's OK to detect on the pasture so that I can write and tell them they ought to be insisting on Code for Responsible Detecting in England and Wales compliance not NCMD Code compliance (as PAS agrees with me about).

heritageaction said...

I see Mr Brummell has cleared off without revealing which council told him it's OK to detect on undisturbed pasture.

No matter, this is like the case of Shepway Council who were asking for NCMD Code compliance instead of the official one - and who are now to change their rules following my message to them. I believe PAS assured you they would be writing to them with the same concern so I suggest Dr Bland writes to all the Essex councils that Mr Brummel might be involved with and put them straight.

Paul Barford said...

No need to, he can just refer to the relevant bit of the PAS website which is... er.... ummmm... hmmm.

kevin anderson said...

I find loads of beautifull things on undisturbed pasture, big medieval ridge and furrow. You should see the things I find- oh wait you never will,lol

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