The draft has been produced by the NFU and the CLA working with the Dr. Michael Lewis , Head of Portable Antiquities and Treasure, Dr.Amanda Chadburn who is the lead on metal detecting matters for Historic England and Wendy Scott FLO for Leicestershire and Rutland.
Two documents have been produced. The first is entitled " Metal Detecting, Field Walking and Searching for Archaeological Objects: guidance for landowners, occupiers and tenant farmers in England and Wales. The second is entitled " Metal Detecting on Your Land: know your rights"
The first document mirrors the original one produced some years ago which was made available by the NFU and the CLA to their members. The latter charged a hefty fee for the booklet.
The second document is likley to be a general handout type leaflet produced for FLO's to give to landowners as a part of their outreach work.
All stakeholders on the Best Practice Working Group have been asked comments and the NCMD is preparing its response at the moment. Unfortunately it seems that this is as far as the consultation process goes with no discussion of the documents planned for the next BPWG meeting.
Non the less any initiative is to the good so a healthy to the NCNM for their work on this.
Matters such as ownership are reinforced with statements and opinions to suggest that detectorists are only seeking to search for personal gain by keeping items or selling them. It is also designed to portray detecting rallies in a poor light. The NCMD will be making comment on a number of aspects and seeking a more descriptive and factual approach to what metal detecting is about.
There are concerns that the leaflet wording is being used to cast doubt in a landowners mind about letting detectorists onto their land then that would be seen as a success for those archaeologists who are not favourably minded towards metal detecting. It is hoped that the current proposed wording can be modified to reflect the benefits of responsible metal detecting for landowners and farmers as well as archaeologists.
The second briefer leaflet is designed for FLO's to be able to give out to landowners they meet or meeting they attend where landowners are present. Both are not aimed at detectorist and it is unlikley that will be readily available to them.
So, in no particular order...
1) Are the author's of these leaflets the PAS, part of the BM, so funded in part by tax payers money, i.e. us? If so why can't we have these leaflets, at least in PDF form too?
2) Where does the apparent negative turn against detectorists stem from? Seems I'm hearing this type of thing a lot at the minute.
3) I know the NCMD are commenting on our behalf, but can we see the drafts themselves? Be easy to post the draft docs on the NCMD site.
3) If they are determined to produce leaflets that cast us in a poor light, and make permissions harder to get, can the NCMD produce counter leaflets that cast us in a good light... contents could include pics of the great finds made, value of finds split back to the landowner - '£40 million paid to farmers due to action of detectorists' would be a great headline... again as PDFs to keep costs down.
4) The NCMD (and other interested parties) could then take an Ad out in online farming mags/forums etc and link them to our leaflet and share the alternate view.
5) In conjunction with 4)... offer to connect any interested farmers with local detectorists, potentially helping both sides.
I guess what I'm suggesting is a less passive approach to what is being done to us, and action to position detectorists in the positive light that we should be in a more direct fashion.
I'd help in whatever way I could, having some online and marketing skills/knowledge.
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It would be good if any modifications could spell out the benefits of metal detecting for the nation, I am not sure that there are alot of direct benefits for land owners and farmers, other than they are doing their bit by pemitting metal detectorists to recover, on behalf of the museum service, items of national importance that would otherwise be left to corrode and degrade.
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I have wondered the same thing ... given that my area is running out of stuff and would be good to have a couple of permissions in the wings ready to smoothly transit into. So I imagined myself being the farmer and someone approaching me .... what would be in it for me. On first glance nothing.oldartefact wrote: ↑Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:22 pmIt would be good if any modifications could spell out the benefits of metal detecting for the nation, I am not sure that there are alot of direct benefits for land owners and farmers, other than they are doing their bit by pemitting metal detectorists to recover, on behalf of the museum service, items of national importance that would otherwise be left to corrode and degrade.
However it is natural to ask what's in it for them but many are curious about their land. Well the ones I've spoken to. Many are curious about certain things they've seen over the years. Crop marks or parching. They are just people and like us are fascinated as to what can be dragged up. The ox shoes I've found have stunned the couple round here. What one assumed was an old random hedge line, I've now been able to show him that it was a man made leat. I've also found a secreted part of their land where quite a few lambs have met their end .... several skulls and many bones have been brought to a spot to be finished off. So here's the benefits as I see them ....
1. Another set of eyes on remoter parts of their land working with them not in spite of them, for free.
2. Adding to the knowledge of their land in the same way as a genealogist would. For free.
3. Rescuing artifacts from certain loss which they can share and Enjoy. For free.
4. Scaring predatory animals from their livestock or birds from crops. (This is a massive benefit and just someone half a mile away moving about will do this). This is a known husbandry technique known as increased vigilance. Free.
5. Obviously helping to remove damaging junk.
6. Help to keep footways open during rapid growth months. You'd be surprised how quickly they vanish on a farm. You traipsing through once a week helps keep them open. Less work for the farmer. And Animals will follow these as well.
This as I see it is a potential symbiotic relationship with land owners. However this is low key and is passive. When archeology and CSS threats are brought into the mix ... an active and potentially intrusive aspect ... which is left for us to warn them about (an unofficial body) ... the messengers of doom ... I think that sours the deal for them. I've been told as much by farmer friends. It is the percieved passive aggressive nature of these organisations that farmers would rather avoid.
This information should obviously come from those official bodies and they should justify why they get a say .... in the same way we apparently have to. And they should also be aware we are a set of eyes for them. We have the ability to support them to our friends the farmers in our passive role or we have the ability to become an obsticle. Farmers only tollorate so much. If by their passive aggressive actions they heap more regulation ... more infrastructure .... more jobs to do on them .... it will push them away.
Everything we do is free, it's insured, and for now .... when something of interest to PAS or archeology is found it is potentially invasive for a short period of time for the farmer if further investigation is required. But it's free to them also. If they have to start spending more time in an office going through all their latest regulation and complying .... and less time actually farming .... what is in it for them. It just costs them money doing administration which isn't farming.
1. The leaflet was first produced in 2010 so is nothing new. Its review is a part of the PAS Strategy 2020. It is being produced with the CLA and the NFU in consultation with the PAS, Historic England and stakeholders on the Best Practice Working Group.
The NFU and the CLA members will be the target audience for the leaflet and so they will make it available to their own members, the aim being to educate and inform landowners on what metal detecting is about and how to respond to an approach for metal detecting access for example.
The 2010 leaflet is available on the PAS website and it is expected that the revised leaflet will also be when it has been agreed.
2.It is not necessarily others portraying detectorists in a negative manner; the hobby can do that very well for itself via social media and various published articles. That gives certain parties ammunition to use against the hobby.
3. The NCMD has been invited to comment on the leaflets as a member of the BPWG and will do so appropriately. However although we have been able to circulate the drafts within the NCMD Executive they are confidential for the time being so cannot be circulated to the membership. However the revised leaflet will probably not be too dissimilar from the 2010 issue.
4. If the NCMD was able to employ the services of a media/PR company it would be able to promote the hobby in a more targeted way. However in the past when this was suggested it was not supported by the Executive. We do not currently have any plans to produce leaflets for landowners or place articles in the farming press for example. This is regrettable, but without the required in-house expertise to do so we are unable to move forward on this one for the time being.
I guess we will have to wait and see what the revised leaflets look like, though I am concerned about your concerns...
The current version is on the PAS website as a long page, couldn't see it as a download or anything.
But to that particular point... surely the NCMD could produce their own equivalent page, not to contradict the PAS one but maybe just to showcase the positives from our perspective, e.g. we clear fields of any rubbish we dig, help identify area of poaching (through shotgun case finds etc)...
And I'm sure you are stretched in terms of what you have the resource/cash to do, isn't everyone.
So, here's an offer, I have a Masters degree in Marketing, I will happily write you an equivalent page, and even turn it into a simple PDF so members can download it and use it when seeking permissions. Happy to look at your social media and websites too if it helps.
Not sure if that would count as in-house expertise but if you'd be interested in that offer then just PM me.
On the second point? I know social media etc can be unhelpful, but that's very different to industry bodies potentially criticising us, which they already do in the current page (rallies at least)
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So far the revised draft is not too different to the previous issue with minor changes to reflect protocols and policies as well as the changes to the agri-environment schemes. Metal detecting rallies do feature a bit more this time with respect to recording policies of the PAS at such events if the FLO does attend they will promote responsible metal detecting rather than record finds.
In particular the commercial events attract criticism with expectations and opinions over damage to the archaeology. The Guidance on Metal Detecting Rallies ( which will also be revised in due course) is mentioned in this new leaflet and rally type events will need to adhere to various conditions detailed within the whole document.
Rallies are considered by most archaeologists to be damaging to archaeology and this is mentioned within the leaflet. This is perhaps a one sided opinion of the ploughsoil archaeological resource that is targetted by rallies. In some aspects this resource is important for the PAS with their database composed predominantly of finds made in this layer which archaeologically does not posses a meaningful context. However to archaeologists excavating a site especially the large open areas dug by the commercial units, will dismiss this layer as the " modern layer" of little or no value to the excavation archaeology and hence removed by mechanical excavators before being dumped in spoil heaps along with the many casual losses it may contain. Just an aside ,but the point needs to be made of what is important to the PAS on the one hand and on the other to the real archaeological world.
Some points within the leaflet are a little vague in their meaning. For example when archaeologists are excavating on a landowners property they will make provision with the landowner that any objects will go into a public collection. In reality this means that the landowner will be asked to waive their right to ownership of all items including treasure and we all know that the public collection reffered to is usually a basement or storeroom in some large industrial unit never to see the light of day again. However the detail of what this policy would mean to a landowner is cleverly avoided.
There are also catch all statements such as " any archaeological finds" with no defintion of what such a find would be. So when is a find classed as archaeological ?
We will have to see what comes out of the discussions at the meetings.
The short leaflet will be printed for a wide distribution whilst the main Guidance for Landowners will be produced by the NFU and the CLA for their members.
The documents are aimed at landowner's not detectorists.
More on this later when we have had chance to evaluate the proposed changes to the wording.