Tuesday 2 April 2013

Renewed Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Heritage Action Gets Results Where PAS Flounders

On April 2nd, volunteer heritage group Heritage Action published an update to an earlier post on the infamous crook-helping rule of The Somerset Artefact Seekers Metal Detecting Club - "Any items found that are not Treasure Trove become the property of the finder/s unless otherwise stated" has now been changed. It turns out that:  
The crook-helping Rule has now been changed, thereby delivering a confession of how outrageous it was. Non treasure items now become the property of the finder and farmer on the basis of 50/50!
But there is more. As Heritage Action point out, when we have a fifteen million quid programme  set up specifically to provide outreach and advice on portable antiquity matters to the British public, it is outrageous that the PAS kept quiet about this kind of thing for so long:
That’s yet another lesson for PAS: if you criticise people for oikish and exploitative behaviour, sometimes they’re shamed into changing it. Why has it taken a bunch of amateurs like us (like happened in the case of Regtons) to bring about an improvement? It’s not us that are paid and instructed by Parliament to outreach, it’s you. How about you now criticise Central Searchers, as you are duty-bound to do? Maybe you can get a similar result? But please, do it in public, that’s the only thing that works, as we have shown – and of course, it would show you give a damn for the interests of farmers more than artefact hunters, something that’s not at all obvious at present.
If you pause in the hallway of 41 Russel Square, you will hear the pigeons cooing in the park and from deeper within the sound of embarrassed shuffling of feet and whispers, "have they gone yet?"...

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