Detecting in five years' time

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figgis
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I was pondering this the other day and wondered where detecting in general will be. With the media's penchant for reporting valuable finds, if the recent increase in popularity continues will we see an increase in rallies and pay-to-dig ventures? Maybe more clubs being formed? We've already seen a couple of projects aimed at cashing in on the popularity, so could we expect yet more?

On the other hand, will the bubble burst and enable us to get back to normal?
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figgis wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 5:00 pm I was pondering this the other day and wondered where detecting in general will be. With the media's penchant for reporting valuable finds, if the recent increase in popularity continues will we see an increase in rallies and pay-to-dig ventures? Maybe more clubs being formed? We've already seen a couple of projects aimed at cashing in on the popularity, so could we expect yet more?

On the other hand, will the bubble burst and enable us to get back to normal?
I know a few people who have bought a detector for the wrong reasons , thinking they're going to find gold and silver on there first dig . Then sold them on ebay a few weeks later . Lets hope theres more people like them and we'll be ok .
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Oxgirl
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Depends if the government decide to restrict commercial rallies or not. A lot hinges on that. They are planning on looking at it in 2022 :|
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Allectus
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Detecting will be banished to the mists of time before 2026.

Regards

Paul, Warsaw


:lol: :lol: :lol:
Steve RC
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By 2026 - that is generous of him :thumbsup:

In reality all will come down to access to farmland under the new Environment Land Management Schemes and what strings will be attached to such access. Membership of the I o D for instance or having attended various courses or vetted by the PAS - one can never be sure what agenda will come to the fore.

However one can always be sure that certain sectors of the hobby will continue to provide lots of ammunition to those who want to see it rigourously controlled. :thumbdown:
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Whatever happened to egg collecting & bird nesting that exploited a finite resource?

Simple enough to fix the current problems but it won`t be popular.

Licence scheme similar to the Mudlarking permit, before you even knock on anyones door.
£100 a year.
Registered with your local FLO so covers the "responsible" angle.

Landowners don`t permit detecting without a copy of said licence.

No group digs larger than 20 licenced people, mandatory recording paid for by the group, link it to ELM`s. Job done. :thumbsup:

*dons tin hat and retreats to safety* :D
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figgis
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As mentioned above, the short-term path will be probably be decided by any legislation deemed necessary to be brought in with regards rallies and/or the ELM scheme and/or tightening up on reporting finds.

I have to say that on many occasions recently there have been posts on social media from newcomers asking if they have to report ancient finds only to be told no, they don't. Not even a "but you should". I'm sure we've all seen pics of boxes stuffed full of reportable finds which, let's face it, doesn't exactly suggest they've all been logged. Maybe they were recorded prior to being lobbed into a box, but I somehow doubt it.

Of course, Treasure aside, we don't have to report anything but maybe that's something which will have to change?
Allectus wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:38 pm Detecting will be banished to the mists of time before 2026.

Regards

Paul, Warsaw


:lol: :lol: :lol:
:lol:
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Saffron
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My prediction is that in the future (but possibly more than 5 years) you will need a licence to own a metal detector or go metal detecting. probably even to have taken and passed an approved course (covering responsible metal detecting, including reporting finds) before you can get the licence. Additionally reporting of finds over a certain value or older than a certain date would become a legal requirement rather than voluntary.

Is this a bad idea?. IMHO ..... NO.

Currently a person watching TV or reading the newspaper often sees an item about a metal detectorist finding a hoard or something of value, then "WOW, that looks fun and look what I will find" ... looks online and gets a metal detector with no idea that they need permission to go metal detecting let alone what the rules are about reporting finds. Next they think "there is that old castle down the road, I will detect around that" ..... the next everybody knows is that a detectorist has been arrested for detecting around a scheduled monument and yet more bad press for the hobby.

Now lets try that with my scenario of an approved course needing to have been taken and a licence required.
The person watching TV or reading the newspaper sees an item about a metal detectorist finding a hoard or something of value, then "WOW, that looks fun and look what I will find" ... looks online and sees that they have to take the course and get a licence. A large percentage would not bother. Others take the course and see what is required, and decide its not worth the bother and cost. A smaller percentage would carry on and get the licence and then buy a detector, but these sould become responsible detectorists.

But my fear is that detecting will be banned by "the back door", eg rather than banning it which would be opposed by NCMD and detectorists and would be so far down any governments priority list it would be unlikely to become law but due to rules govening farming and grants preventing it.

When it was a small "niche" hobby followed by a few people detecting was not a problem, but now its the sheer number of people taking it up (most with no idea of their responsibilities) that is making it an issue.
FYI: As an example of this today I tried to get permission from a farmer that has .. "about 1,000 acres" (including a large civil war battlefield) ... sadly he said "No" despite the landlord doing the intial introduction and putting in a good word for me. But most significantly he did ask how long I had been detecting and if there had been a surge in detecting recently as he was now being phoned all the time by people wanting permission to detect his land.

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figgis wrote: Sat Jul 03, 2021 3:23 pm As mentioned above, the short-term path will be probably be decided by any legislation deemed necessary to be brought in with regards rallies and/or the ELM scheme and/or tightening up on reporting finds.

I have to say that on many occasions recently there have been posts on social media from newcomers asking if they have to report ancient finds only to be told no, they don't. Not even a "but you should". I'm sure we've all seen pics of boxes stuffed full of reportable finds which, let's face it, doesn't exactly suggest they've all been logged. Maybe they were recorded prior to being lobbed into a box, but I somehow doubt it.
While I agree whole heartedly, the current system of FLO's recording finds for PAS is simply not fit for purpose and needs an overhaul...

While I do not support compulsory training for the hobby, I would like to see voluntary training such as Finds Recording offered by FLO's so people can self record..At the very least, every Club should have a Finds Recorder and these could work under the supervision of their FLO....
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figgis
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Saffron wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 1:48 am The person watching TV or reading the newspaper sees an item about a metal detectorist finding a hoard or something of value, then "WOW, that looks fun and look what I will find" ... looks online and sees that they have to take the course and get a licence.
I take your point entirely but, as we know, there are a great many who just leap in and buy a detector and then look into the mechanics of how/where to use it. Being made aware of any licensing/course needs beforehand would work if buying through an established retailer but is unlikely with private sales. Such a licensing system would probably cut the numbers down, though.
Pete E wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 2:08 am While I do not support compulsory training for the hobby, I would like to see voluntary training such as Finds Recording offered by FLO's so people can self record..At the very least, every Club should have a Finds Recorder and these could work under the supervision of their FLO....
The voluntary training you suggest did exist until very recently, with a database course at the BM followed up by some recording sessions with the FLO to put theory into practice. There were also specialist courses run on various subjects to deepen your knowledge, but funding cutbacks and of course covid saw that off, at least for the present.

I do see the requirements for recording tightening up, which will give the PAS more work, which in turn could lead to an increased demand for self-recorders and a reinstatement of the courses.
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The PAS has always been underfunded and always will. It was an add on for the Treasure Act and despite 20 or so years on progress has been limited and its funding stagnant at best.

Without significant funding and a better mission statement it will only ever be able to record a set number of finds and continue to cherry pick items and turn away finders. My last batch of finds have been with the FLO since before Covid and there is still no sight of them ever being recorded.

The PAS is not structured to deal with the current hobby yet its Head of Department and various FLO's still bleat with regularity that finds should be recorded and that many detectorists are not recording their finds. I say the chance would be a fine thing and burrying heads in the sand wont solve the problem. The PAS management need to get their act together and realise that there are serious issues it must address otherwise it should keep quiet and continues to record a set number of finds, keep their jobs and dont rock the boat.

Sadly in order to satisfy the paymasters, statistics are of greater importance than ever and the PAS is vulnerable to archaeological politics never mind those at the BM.
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Oxgirl wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:22 pm Depends if the government decide to restrict commercial rallies or not. A lot hinges on that. They are planning on looking at it in 2022 :|
That will be very difficult to do without impacting traditional bricks and mortar clubs...The only way I can see is to limit the number of people taking part to say 50 and maybe make it compulsory to have trained/qualified Club Officials to record finds on the day...
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Regardless of if there are any changes I expect that the sole detectorist will just carry on as usual.
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figgis
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Steve RC wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:48 pm The PAS is not structured to deal with the current hobby yet its Head of Department and various FLO's still bleat with regularity that finds should be recorded and that many detectorists are not recording their finds.
So maybe a much-needed overhaul of the PAS (if it happens) might be a large factor in determining which way detecting is handled by the authorities?
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figgis wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 5:31 pm So maybe a much-needed overhaul of the PAS (if it happens) might be a large factor in determining which way detecting is handled by the authorities?
"Polluter pays" as some archeo-blogger said recently.

Ergo: Licence and/or paid training.

Either that or the taxpayer (all of them) pay for a niche hobby........... why should they? They want the bins emptied, the potholes filled and the Doctors open for appointments, they aren`t interested in old stuff sitting in drawers so the burden of cost is passed back to the hobby.

Whilst it is our (all of us) collective history if it`s left in the ground there are no ongoing costs for research, conservation, Treasure payouts, the PAS etc.

That is cost neutral Stop it dead...... hmmmm tricky to enforce and will lead to extra pressure on police etc. Not an easy fix.

Now it seems those detecting folk are happy enough to pay £20 a day to someone opening a gate so why not charge them £200+ for an annual licence?

That licence is administered through the FLO so they get a cut, a bit goes to the BM, and some goes to the MoJ to fund the Coronial aspect.

The FLO then produces 3 or 4 training days at £50 a pop a year which you need to attend to retain your licence............see it like a CPCS card, ensuring everyone is upto speed and playing by the rules......

There you go. ;)
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