Landmark project aims to build relations between metal detectorists and heritage sector' 31 January 2017
The report is the first of its kind to be attempted in Scotland. It was conducted by GUARD Archaeology Ltd, using online questionnaires and one-to-one interviews with detectorists and heritage professionals to find out the extent of metal detecting in Scotland, the different ways it takes place across the country, as well as to ask those involved for their views on how the process of find reporting works. The report found that there are approximately 521 ‘hobbyist’ metal detectorists in Scotland, 87% of whom are male, with a predominant age range between 45 and 55 years old. The areas with the highest recorded activity of metal detecting in Scotland were Perth and Kinross, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, and the Scottish Borders. Kevin Munro, Senior Designations Officer for Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Anecdotally, we seem to be seeing an increase in the numbers of people participating in metal detecting in Scotland – perhaps due to a number of high profile finds by detectorists in Britain in the past decade. We know that detectorists have a great interest in history, and we hope that the project will help us to ensure that they are aware of the appropriate processes for reporting finds when they are discovered.The usual old crap, 'detectorists' have less an interest in 'history' than collecting historical items, it is not the same. This is why those 521 hoikers can usually come up with barely 300 items a year for the TTU to put in their reports. In fact, my feeling is this number is too low, IMO there may be another 400 they've not spotted.
The report: ‘Assessment of the Extent and Character of Hobbyist Metal Detecting in Scotland’ is available for download on the Historic Environment Scotland publications page