Wednesday 26 September 2012

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Licence Fees, Landowners Take Note

Landowners in the UK should take note of the recent development being discussed on a metal detecting blog. It would seem that as a result of the "burgeoning" partnership between PAS and artefact hunters and its reflection in the media (like the stupid "Britain's Secret Treasures" stunt), suggestions are being made that artefact hunting on certain productive sites should be subject to a licence. According to UK metal detectorist John Howland - 'Opening up the markets (sic)' - Stout Standards Sept 26, 2012) proposals are being made that access to certain land should be subject to purchase of a licence, "possibly for a fee of say £50. The fee will be easily recoverable from the sale of artefacts recovered (and duly recorded), or kept for museum display if of particular interest". So why cannot landowners cash in on the detectorists' willingness to pay to access land. Let them issue licences (with conditions) to those who request access to their fields, let us say 50 quid per detectorist, per ten hectares per year? Many of them will pay about half that to get access to a few fields at a weekend rally, so fifty pounds is not an excessive amount. Indeed, looking at the prices some of the finds made in landowners' fields go for, it would not be asking too much for a couple of hundred quid per detectorist per year for some of the areas producing such items in any quantity.

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