Sunday, 19 July 2020

Is there any problem wording for Detectorists in the 2017 Code of Best Practice for Responsible Artefact Hunting?

On a metal detecting forum near you, there is an interesting thread started by Keith Westcott's "Institute of Detectorists" Is there any problem wording in the 2017 Code of Practice?
IoD » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:40 pm
Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales (2017)?
This code has not been endorsed by a UK wide metal detecting body for nearly three years, which is not you may say, a great image to newcomers or those looking from outside, in...

It would be interesting to see if anyone individual Detectorist has got any issues with the actual wording?
That is a good question as the only information available is a very long waffle by the NCMD that actually says nothing concrete, it basically reads "no, because no" ( Petulant NCMD Leaders Won't Follow the Code, "Unworkable". PACHI Monday, 20 April 2020). This started off another acrimonious exchange with touchy tekkies as it seems people feel threatened and 'harrassed' that the NCMD was being questioned, but actual concrete examples of wording were absent, except this
WVAM  Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:21 pm
IF, and I stress IF, I had been asked to work on this document I will, as you ask, give you examples all from the first section of where I would want more specificity and clarification. After all, this is a CoP to guide others; it is not for me per se.

As examples:
Not trespassing; before you start detecting obtain permission to search from the landowner, regardless of the status, or perceived status, of the land.  Trespassing is not the correct term for detecting on land where you do not have permission. It would be more simply stated as, and the words are a working example, "you MUST obtain permission to detect on ALL and ANY land".

Remember that all land (including parks, public open-spaces, beaches and foreshores) has an owner and an occupier (such as a tenant farmer) can only grant permission with both the landowner’s and tenant’s agreement.  I'm the representative of a landowner. The granting of permission is given by the landowner or their representative. It's worth taking a leaf out of the laws covering shooting. Rather than dealing with "tenants", who I know from experience don't know if the landowner will allow detecting, deal with the rules.

Any finds discovered will normally be the property of the landowner, A CoP for people new to the field might just say "ALL finds are the property of the landowner ....." You could, if you choose, give an example of where that isn't automatically the case.

I have no problem with the intent of the code but it needs more work.
Hmmm. "Being responsible means not trespassing"  - frankly, I do not see where there is a problem with that. The point about the landowner's permission seems to me to be inescapable (whether or not a 'representative' is empowered to give that permission depends on the nature of the contract between them), and obviously a landowner cannot allow access to property that a tenant is using without that tenant's permission. In any case, these are not things the detectorist is empowered to challenge - and being responsible means acknowledging that. I do not know why the detectorist queries the wording of the Code about ownership of finds, and wants "exceptions". This just shows what a load of bonkers people feeling 'entitlement' many detectorists are.

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