Sunday 17 March 2013

Renewed Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Farmer Brown Contests Tekkie Attitudes to Cultural Property

Heritage Action's correspondent Farmer Silas Brown writes today on "why finds agreements should never be signed". Addressing his farming colleagues across the land, he suggests:
You should read some detecting forums. It’s clear that money is the main interest of many people and loads of finds aren’t being shown to us as a consequence. 
He reckons the PAS is short-changing landowners, giving their partners advice which in his opinion is contrary to the law of the land:
PAS (in conjunction with no other archaeologists nota bene) specifically recommends landowners to get a finds agreement! For whose benefit would that be? Don’t do it. Sign nothing, especially if it contains the word “share”. By all that’s logical, legal, practical, safe and just it should be YOU alone who decides what (if anything) you give away, and then only when you’ve seen everything the detectorist has found, not before.
This is the principle known as the 'Glasgow Fourth'. Silas Brown proposes to landowners in England and Wales three simple rules which they could show to a detectorist. There is, he says: "no need for you to sign anything – nor indeed for him to either. It would suffice for him to know what you require of him as a condition of going on your land", postulating that "no dishonest or money-orientated detectorist will wish to comply".

The three rules Silas Brown proposes can be found here: "Notice to those seeking permission to metal detect".

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