Saturday, 2 January 2016

People Power Against Artefact Hunters

Fed-up dog walkers in Stockport are taking a stand against treasure hunters who they say are destroying their neighbourhood’s green space. People are digging for artefacts which can sell for hundreds (Chris Osuh, 'Dog walkers try to drive out treasure hunters digging up fields Manchester Evening News, 2 Jan 2016).
Scavengers from across the country have been converging on playing fields at Newbridge Lane, Portwood, Stockport digging for collectable vintage bottles from an old landfill site beneath. Now residents have formed a peaceful posse to run the treasure hunters out of town for good, led by Nathan Bates. Whenever he catches anyone digging a hole, Nathan steps up with his spade and offers to fill it in. “We don’t want trouble, we just want them to stop”, the 39-year-old machinist said.[...] Old bottles can sell for hundreds of pounds depending on the rarity and condition. Bottle digging is legal if done with landowners’ permission, but councils tend not to allow digging on old landfill sites because of safety concerns. Reports of illegal bottle digging have increased in recent years, and those caught hunting without permission can be charged with criminal damage and face a maximum fine of £5,000 or six months in prison.

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