British artefact collector "41 Craig P" (Fri May 20, 2016 10:09 am Monument but not listed?) has a "best practice" dilemma.
I have a new permission and the owner has told me there is a field Historic England have told him not to plough as it contains Bronze Age Barrows. However I cannot find the site on the Scheduled monuments list. [...] I know rules state that you should not dig on Scheduled monuments but what about ones that are known but not scheduled like the one on my permission? [...] I'm very excited for this permissionNo, not "the rules", but the law states that. But here we have a blatant case of targeting known sites, if its a Bronze Age barrow, but not actually scheduled, it's OK - this guy seems to think - to be digging holes in and around it to see what artefacts he can pocket for himself. A rather warped idea of "best practice". What about all this crap that "metal detectorists" that's artefact pocketers in other words, do not raid known sites at all, but "find new sites"? That is all PAS-spin-crap isn't it. Member "Jungle" has a solution (Fri May 20, 2016 12:14 pm)
Forgetting what is technically allowed, I'd have a word with the county archaeologist asking for what was (and may still be) known as a FEP. This will set out any "Alert" areas from the FER. Involve the FLO from the start and if you set out your survey methodology and state that you'll not dig below plough zone, GPS find spots and show everything to FLO, they may not "impose" restrictions, other that SAM's. My FLO has assured me that my finds from around the alert areas would not lead to an "upgrade" to SAM or further restrictions and in 3 years after adding 100's of finds to the records, nothing has changed. After demonstrating "good practice" FLO has suggested that if I re-approached the County Archaeologist and asked to search Alerts, with his support, he's optimistic I'd be "allowed".Helpful FLO. Sadly we do not know which county "Jungle" inhabits so said FLO is beyond our reach, I'd like to hear from him or her why he or she is encouraging anyone to target known sites indicated by alerts on the Farm Environment Plan of a Countryside Stewardship Scheme landholding. Just why does the farmer think he's not allowed to plough those sites but somehow allowing an artefact hunter on it to pocket what he wants is good conservation practice? Here we find the PAS is totally failing in its educational function both in regard to the artefact hunters, members of the public but also landowners. 100% failure.
If you are "Jungle's" FLO, please have the courage of your convictions to contact me and tell me publicly where I have got this wrong. Can you?
UPDATE 21st July 2016
Well, the FLO Richard Henry in Salisbury did write, and seems to think that he's done that. Sadly though he did not seem to notice that I asked him to do it publicly, so we cannot have a public debate about what is and is not "best practice" - nothing new there then. Mr Henry neglected to say anything about disposition of the finds and project archive - but also reveals that "41 Craig P" and "Jungle" are talking at cross purposes. I'll share though his last sentence which seems to explain all the rest - but just adds to my doubts about what is going on here:
The material recorded in this case is a key element in an assessment of settlement pattern on the chalk downland in the late Roman period that I am currently working on.Yeah.