Saturday 17 April 2021

UK Detectorist: If There's no Sign Saying "Private Property", I can Detect there.


Over on Twitter there is a long discussion of permits for metal detectors, prompted by the recommencement of commercial pay-to-dig artefact hunting rallies, it's been going on for quite a while, and is mainly perpetuated by metal detectorists coming on to point out that law-abiding detectorists will go "rouge" and start ignoring the new regulations. One such is AviatrixAnorak @flyerswhodetect who's been thinking up excuses why "it won't work" including scheduled sites in the UK should have a 24/7 guard on them and "better signage would help. Most sites have none". This seems to me to be a rather vaccuous argument:

False argument. NO signage is necessary to say something is somebody's private property. You want to go there and hoik artefacts, ask the landowner whether it's allowed. If the landowner encourages you to loot a scheduled site on his land (fail to protect it), they should get done too. Simple.

I thought it was simple. But there;'s no accounting for metal detectorists: 

So you use your psychic powers to know a peice [sic] of land is private property?
Paul Barford @PortantIssues·6 g.
no, actually as any metal detectorist should know, each piece of land in the UK has an owner and you cannot just wander onto it with a detector and spade assuming it is somehow ownerless, or 'the owner will not mind/will not find out". That is the definition of nighthawking !!
This is why we need organised courses for metal detector users and must ensure than only those who have done it and have mastered the basic facts to the same degree get permits.

Vignette: Keeping metal detecting thieves off your property (Amazon)

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