Tuesday 25 February 2020

UK Detectorist Entitlement

DIG THIS! Metal Detecting and History Group, a [Facebook] group for detectorists run by detectorists, with no hidden agendas and away from the wannabe detecting celebrities and YouTubers seeking detecting stardom.

Discussion on commercial artefact hunting rallies. Started by group administrator Iain Crozza (February 17 at 10:19 PM): "There seems to be an increase in "fly by night" - "get rich quick" merchants approaching land owners especially in Norfolk and Suffolk as well as nationwide [...] these large get rich quick digs [...] are going to totally ruin this hobby in the long run for both individuals and established genuine clubs". Reading the thread, you can see why. It seems that Britain's artefact hunters not only want the land for themselves and the organisations they themselves belong to, but they do not want landowners learning of the value of the material they take from the land. It seems that "proper metal detectorists" ("doing it for the love of the hobby") expect to get on the land for free, take away what they want for free, unless its a treasure item, in which case they recognise that they will have to share the proceeds of the sale (to the state) with the actual landowner.
Les Barratt [punctuation original] Our club lost a load of land 18 months ago as some prick [sic] got permision off [sic] one of our farmers and went back to him a couple of days latter [sic] with a gold coin and said if ime [sic] finding stuff like this whats that club not showing you. so the farmer kicked our club off the bloke that did this has done this to quite a few farms and got people kicked off so he can then move in and take people on ripping them off. it makes my blood boil.
Obviously, the landowner had their own suspicions about the honesty of the club. Another member seems a bit confused about whose land they are on, and the landowner's right to know the true value of the items removed by artefact hunters. So....
Kim Horigan I have returned to detecting after a break of 4 decades, I found it utterly shocking and offensive to see clubs offering farmers 100's of pounds or more to detect on their land even on local FB pages! What chance does a person have to get a permission now, back in the day it was a solitary hobby with no internet bragging! I'm not sure things have changed for the better...
'Shocking and offensive' for a property owner to get something of the value back of the objects they are allowing artefact hunters to remove from their property? Think of the entitlement hiding behind that comment for a moment (and referring to a landowner as merely "farmer"). And the problem for the Luddite obviously is this new-fangled technology:
Iain Crozza Kim Horigan you're totally right, I couldn't agree more! Social media has destroyed the hobby hasn't it [sic] [emoticon]

Fred Gibby establishes his authority by an appeal to seniority, a whacking big Union Jack and 'Brexit English':
Fred Gibby I have been doing this since 1979 ok first few years was only a bit here and a bit there... but since the mid 80s i have been fairly active and its only since this social media has come along that this hobbie [sic] has been turned into a money making machine.… i seen [sic] people start offering digs for x amount of money and giving the farmer even less than the x amount they Have took [sic] and withing [sic] months they have new machines new cars.. i use to go [sic] to some of these digs but once i found out they are conning the farmers i dont go... little club digs do me and most of the clubs i belong to give all the money to the farmer.. the sad thing is little clubs have had to put on digs just to keep its members because of these other digs and then that has a knock on affect [sic] and makes it even harder for the lone detectorist to get permission.
For free, of course. This is followed by Kim Horigan commenting on "just too many people now chasing a permission, flashing big money to farmers" and Iain Crozza agreeing and conservatively bemoaning change in the hobby: "its killing it mate isn't it. I reckon in 10 years the hobby will be non existant [sic] to individuals and genuine clubs". Stephen Reynolds agrees with Mr Crozza:
I'm out there a lot. Yes it's terrible. To be honest I dont come across club sites very often. Mainly group sites where sole detecting rights are secured through a wad of cash. Sometimes I've found individuals have secured the land in the same way. Cash! I've met lads who just go on where they want because they cant get permission anywhere. I've met people who concentrated on building sites near villages and had a spanner to open the fencing to gain access. Ive met grown men wanting to fight because you got a yes from the farmer on ' their permission'. And I've met people like me who have been doing it a long time and just want a day out. Going out and trying to get on as an individual is almost impossible. Being a bit stubborn though I dont give up easily..if ever! Thanks for the initial post. Good to know Its not just me!
So, just note what he's saying about the spanners (for unbolting fences), he has "met" men who just go where they want 'because they cant get permission anywhere'. They are artefact hunting illegally because they cannot get legal access. That's like not being able to afford to buy one, but wanting to drive one, so they steal my neighbour's Porsche. If Porsches were more readily available and access to them not a privilege, car theft would be down. And when Mr Reynolds has "met" a nighthawk, what does he do as "a responsible detectorist"  about it? The same as if he saw a bloke breaking into a neighbour's garage to nick the Porsche?
hat tip: Lynda Albertson ARCA

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