Following yesterday’s update – Metal  Detecting in England during current lockdown status notice regarding our communication with the  Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Sports and Recreation Alliance. We have been contacted by several readers regarding restricted and illegal Metal Detecting over the past few days.

The first instance and one which, when looking at it from the perspective of the gentlemen involved, proves the need for an update to the Governments Guidance on searching for archaeological finds in England during COVID-19

The Guidance states –

  • Metal detecting can take place in an outdoor public place. You must have the permission of the landowner to detect on the land and should contact your local council or district councils to check the local policies regarding detecting on public land in your area as you may need a formal permit. This must be done alone, with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.
  • You cannot detect on private land even if you have permission from the owner.

Sadly as we have suggested, this leaves the current guidelines open to interpretation, and the two gentlemen were utilising a well know public park for detecting purposes. When approached, they stated its OK as the law has changed to allow detecting on public places, they also told how Police officers had twice approached them and they had simply told them that it was OK and showed them the afore mentioned guidance. The Police read the update and told them to carry on and not make a mess. Needless to say they had a large collection of pre decimal coins.

So again, we have raised these issues with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Sports and Recreation Alliance, as it seems nobody is actually pushing for these amendments to be clarified. The current reading is causing people to break UK law by detecting places that is restricted by misreading and misinterpreting the guidance.

Additionally, a brief reminder, government legislation also states that you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. This can include exercise outdoors or to visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.

Take care everybody, we will continue to offer updates when we have the necessary information.