Friday 21 February 2020

Illegal Metal Detecting in Hockley Woods Reported on Facebook

Hockley Woods, Essex,
Site of Special Scientific
Interest (wikipedia)
Today on Facebook Fudgeworld 'metal detecting' page
David Coates 5 hours in hockley woods. Never again
Jimmy Young How did you get permission for them woods? As they are protected
David Coates Just asked the local ranger guy he said if I don’t see you then I don’t no about it
Which I guess means that he thinks that this is legal. It seems detectorists consider that its just "somebody's permission" they need, rather than the actual landowner. But - as David Coates should know - Rochford Council has a blanket ban on all metal detecting and particularly on Hockley Woods which is a SSSI.

Right, and who is going to report him? A 'Responsible metal Detectorist'? A British archaeologist, the PAS maybe? Or the bloke in Poland? Or... maybe nobody, and he'll get away wiv it - as they all do.

By the way, the ("If I doesn't see ya, then I dont no abowt it") ranger too should be reported, for aiding and abetting. But of course Coatsey did not akchully rite 'is name down fur ferther refrince.

Once again, let us return to my misgivings about a 'policy' (I use the term loosely) that is based on a pious hope that these people can be educated in 'best practice' when it is clear that there is among them a hard core of individuals that seem from present evidence to be in effect ineducable. So what are we to do to stop them destroying the heritage? Ideas, PAS? 


Brian Mattick said...

I can't find any of that.

Did you make it up?
Or have they removed it prior to telling the Council and Natural England? Or are they knowingly covering for a wrongdoer?

Paul Barford said...

No, Brian, I did not make it up.

It does seem to have gone, I suspect the responsible metal detectorists of that fine resource reported the wrongdoer to the landowner and after making screenshots for law enforcement, they removed the offensive post so that others would not be encouraged to break the law in the same way. After all, that IS the only responsible thing to do in such a case.

Paul Barford said...

Unless they are covering for a "nighthawk" breaking the law - in which case they too are implicated. I expect the police will be contacting Mr Fudge to find out what action was taken.

Brian Mattick said...

Glad you mentioned the term "nighthawk". Mr.` Fudge et al may well be deluding themselves that a nudge-and-a-wink from someone not empowered to give permission constitutes a defence against such an accusation. On the contrary, the nudge-and-wink, by its nature, comprised a crystal clear message that metal detecting there was NOT allowed.

So unlike many detectorists who claim they "didn't know" detecting was prohibited at a particular place, this individual was clearly warned it was. That goes for Mr Fudge and all the other forum users. Their duty to promptly tell the council and Natural England is clear.

Paul Barford said...

Well, obviously he already has, as we are all being told incessantly, the irresponsible element in the British metal detecting community is only a minority, so Mr Fudge and probably a good number of his like-minded members will have already done that and perhaps Coatsy is at this moment explaining his actions to the local heritage crime officer.

Hougenai said...

I'm sad to say, as a former insider, that Natural England would not be available over the weekend. Worse still is that they would probably not be interested and simply refer the reporter to the police (or perhaps the Council as landowner).
It's a while since I checked but they, Nat England, eased the requirements under Environmental stewardship regarding detecting, reversing gains made with previous revisions( No reporting of rallies and reliance on 'codes of practice') and no one 'polices' agreements as a matter of course. All will change again with Brexit and under the present circumstances it is unlikely to improve, our heritage, with many other things, will be up for 'final clearance sale' (still, now we have blue passports it seems oh so worth it).

Paul Barford said...

But do we know that ES schemes will be continuing anyway? I understood that - at the beginning at least - the money was coming from the EU.

Hougenai said...

ES will go, as I understand it current agreements will be honoured until their end date. The scheme itself will be replaced but as yet the details are an unknown. I am not holding my breath.

Brian Mattick said...

Weren't the Euro farm payments to be covered for 2 years and thereafter Gove was conspicuously vague.

Hougenai, blue passports may be one of many disappointments for the Brexit voters: they're going to be almost black!

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