I started detecting in June and had the same issue as many, how to get a permission.
I'm a city boy, know no farmers, don't have any real local ones or any outdoor pursuits that brought me into contact with any. So the advice about getting to know local farmers or the idea of walking up a country lane to some random farm and hoping to catch them in, in a good mood and amenable to my request seemed a long shot to say the least.
So I didn't do any of that... and now I have three permissions with approx 400 acres to go at.
Here's what I did, which is pretty simple to do and can be done from home...
Find all the local farms that are within the distance you are willing to travel to who have some form of internet presence, there's surprisingly few BUT the following would be a good start on Google.
- Farm shops
- Caravan/Camp sites
- Petting zoos
The common denominator is that they all have side businesses that mean they interact with consumers and therefore have websites and email addresses.
Then construct a good email, explain your interest, mention NCMD membership and the like... and if you do something extra like blog about your finds, write for the local paper etc then mention that too*.
Press send, repeat the process for the next farm, and keep a log of who you send it to.
I sent 60 or so emails, got something like 20 responses, mostly 'we don't do that', 'we're tennants' or 'we've already got someone who does that'... but three said yes, and as luck would have it they're all different kinds of land.
You can also expand the principle to other landowners, e.g. golf clubs, manor houses/stately homes, and hotels with grounds (for weddings and such).
The effort is relatively minimal, all done from home and it worked for me... so could for you.
*I write screenplays and mentioned this in some of my emails, both my second and third permissions commented on that.
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if you ever want ideas for screen plays or are stuck on ideas for the progression of a story line ... give me a shout!!!