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Online News For You!

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From all at The Federation of Independent Detectorists and


In the last month we have been inundated with letters, phone calls and emails complaining about the following so called "Heritage Website"
Yet another example of the continuing campaign to destroy the hobby of metal detecting. Ever since the hobby first took off in the early 1970's the archaeological fraternity, their friends in museums, universities and even governments have tried their very best to either outlaw or control the hobby. So far they have failed, I'm glad to say. One man who has fought for the hobby ever since those early days, is the well known and respected author Edward (Ted) Fletcher. Thankfully he is still fighting for our survival in the here and now.
Below is Teds take on the heritage propaganda together with an appeal for financial help towards his further research and continued fight for the hobbies future.

news and views from …

news and views from  ….


Welcome to the
Heritage Journal


Where?  … Throughout the world? … Eastern Europe? … Iraq?


On Friday September 14th2007  the Heritage Action Artefact Counter will tick to the figure of ten million, being a conservative estimate of the number of recordable artefacts removed from our fields and scuttled home with or flogged by metal detectorists, the vast majority without a word to anyone else.

This is not heritage protection. In fact it is uncivilized behaviour towards heritage …  and it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.


Artefact Erosion Counter

A running total of the number of recordable archaeological artefacts removed from the fields of England and Wales by metal detectorists (the great majority without being reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme).


Current running total of recordable artefacts removed since 1975 by metal detectorists:


This counter is based upon published figures from academic studies, the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the comprehensive survey of finds rates recently carried out by detectorists and published on the premier UK discussion forum.




Please now read page 2 …..


news and views from  ….


Greetings … Ted Fletcher passing on to you a page from an organization calling itself Heritage Action which describes its web site as 

a rallying point for anyone who feels that society is deaf to the threats to heritage places, especially the most threatened of all, our most ancient sites.”

I hope to launch a similar internet site dedicated to countering the propaganda put out by Heritage Action; and ensuring that the media, politicians, tax payers, landowners, farmers and anyone thinking of taking up metal detecting as a hobby, have easy access to the true facts about the heritage industry.

Those who run Heritage Action are totally dedicated to the destruction of the metal detecting hobby. They cannot be deflected from that task by appeasement ... by cow-towing ... by keeping a low profile. The only way to beat them is to hit hard with the facts they do not want excavated and brought to the attention of the media.

I can do that ... but not without help from you with the costs of research, which involves travel to and from archives, as well as laborious searches of archaeological records and journals over many, many years.

If this subject matters to you ... if the propaganda put out by Heritage Action worries you, please complete the following and reply to me at once: (COPY AND PASTE IN YOUR EMAIL)


Your name:

Company / Organization:

Ted ............ I/We want to help you in this struggle to counter Heritage Action propaganda.

 I/We pledge £ ..........  as a one-year contribution to the costs of getting Heritage Fiction        up-and-running.



Please return signed pledge to Ted Fletcher ....




It was to be hoped that the 21st Century would see a new era in which detectorists and archaeologists could at last co-exists, with each side realising that although they are very different, they do in fact compliment each other. Although some improvements and 'good news' (as will be seen in some of the articles below) have recently come to pass, there are still constant stories of bad relations and in some cases outright hostility. Our Federation has tried ever since we came on the scene in 1982 to maintain good and fair relations with all bodies, whether archaeological, museums, Government departments, public authorities etc etc. In the main this has worked but there are always those small minded people who cannot behave in an adult manner who try undermine the good work of detectorists and archaeologists alike. Let us hope that common sense will eventually prevail and maybe 2008 will be the year when peaceful co-existence will become a regular feature for us all. It is well to remember that the past belongs to everyone not just any particular small minority interest.



Metal Detecting on National Trust land

This note sets out National Trust policy on Metal Detecting on its properties in England and Wales. It is intended for use by metal detectorists and aims to clarify why we will only allow metal detecting on our land under controlled circumstances.

Metal Detecting on National Trust land

Metal detecting is generally not permitted on National Trust land, unless under exceptional circumstances, and only ever under a Licence Agreement;
Licence Agreements will only be issued by a National Trust Archaeologist where metal detecting can help further archaeological knowledge or protect archaeological remains;
Unauthorised metal detecting contravenes National Trust bylaws and is a criminal offence on Scheduled Monuments;
All finds, with the exception of 'Treasure', remain the property of the National Trust;

Why can't I metal detect on National Trust land?
The National Trust recognises that metal detecting is a popular and growing hobby that can help increase our understanding of the past. We are keen to find ways of working closely with metal detecting clubs and societies that can help interpret and protect our properties for future generations. However, we cannot allow unauthorised or unsupervised metal detecting on our land, even where it's under the plough.
All land in National Trust ownership means it has been entrusted to our care for the benefit of everyone. We recognise that most metal detectorists are highly responsible and actively report finds to their local Finds Liaison Officer, but we remain concerned at finds being taken out of the ground without proper recording or archaeological supervision. Every National Trust property is of archaeological interest, and we are currently undertaking a long-term programme of survey and research to help understand them better. When finds are taken out of context, we lose another piece of the jigsaw, which means it makes it harder for us to care for our archaeology. This is why we only allow metal detecting under exceptional circumstances with the control of a Licence Agreement.

What is a Licence Agreement?
This is a written agreement between the National Trust and the metal detectorist that will allow access under special conditions. You are unlikely to receive a Licence Agreement unless you are able to show full commitment to its terms and conditions.
Under what circumstances can I get a Licence Agreement?
Licence Agreements will only be issued where it can be shown that metal detecting can actively increase archaeological knowledge, limit damage to archaeological sites, help locate pipes and services during engineering works, or very exceptionally to locate lost personal items.
Archaeological research projects - A proposal might be made for the use of metal detectors in a collaborative project in which the appropriate National Trust Archaeologist aims to supervise and work alongside metal detectorists to inform archaeological survey and research, or as part of a controlled excavation project.
Rescuing finds from arable landscapes or on eroding coastlines - Situations might arise in which areas of National Trust land are identified as being of archaeological significance, but are at risk to damage and loss of artefacts through arable cultivation, or natural processes such as coastal erosion or sea level rise.
Engineering works or recovery of lost possessions - Applications for using a metal detector for the location of underground service pipes by contractors, or genuine applications for the recovery of lost personal metal items by a member of the public.
The National Trust will not issue a Licence Agreement for metal detecting on Scheduled Monuments nor within its parks, gardens or farmland under pasture.

Who issues Licence Agreements?
Only a National Trust Archaeologist can issue a Licence Agreement (contact your nearest Property or Regional Office for details). National Trust property staff, tenants and farmers are not authorised to give permission to metal detect on Trust land.
Can I keep what I find?
This will depend on the nature of the Licence Agreement. All finds – with the exception of 'treasure' - remain the property of the National Trust. This is due to the 'inalienable' status of our land, which means it cannot be sold or exchanged without an Act of Parliament.
Can I make a claim for an Award if I find 'Treasure' on National Trust land?
Under the Treasure Act 1996 anything that might be considered 'treasure' must be reported to the local Coroner. Claims for awards cannot be made without the consent of the landowner. However, there may well be circumstances where an award can be shared between the finder and the National Trust. We will put any money we receive back into the conservation, storage and display of the object.
What happens if I metal detect without a Licence Agreement?
You will be asked to leave the property and not return with the intention to metal detect. We will report all unauthorised metal detecting on Scheduled Monuments to the Police and may take action to reclaim items taken from National Trust land without permission.
However, if you have made finds on National Trust land in the past, we do encourage you to tell us or report them to your local Finds Liaison Officer (see below). We are keen to see and learn more from them.
How do I know I'm on National Trust land?
All National Trust land is shown on 1:25000 scale Ordnance Survey maps. Access into National Trust land is clearly marked with a green oak leaf and acorn sign. If in doubt, contact the nearest Property or Regional Office, or ask the local tenant.
Are you discriminating against metal detectorists?
No – all archaeological research carried out on National Trust land, other than that undertaken by Trust staff or their contractors, must be subject to a Licence Agreement. This includes universities, students, local societies and individuals. We believe this is a fair and honest approach that ensures we can continue to conserve the special places in our care.
How can I find out more?
Contact the National Trust Archaeology Section on 01793 817745 or see our webpage at
More details on the Treasure Act, Finds Liaison Officers and the Government's Portable Antiquities Scheme can be found on or call 020 7323 8611.
Help is also available from the National Council of Metal Detectors – see


The Government have threatened to cut spending on PAS, this may lead to the scheme losing jobs including FLO's. Although relations with detectorists have been mixed and often not worked in the interests of either the hobby or landowners, it has stopped further moves to ban or hamper detecting with extra regulation. Recently many detectorists wrote to their MP's in support of the scheme. Only time will tell what the eventual outcome will be. We should all be prepared in case of 'bad news' and be ready to lobby hard if this should prove to be the case,


With over 600 members the Online Detecting Cub (which can be found at This linkhas proved very popular, unfortunately the website owners "The Ramius Corporation" have now decided to charge for the service
We were going to close it down but a number of members seem to be happy to pay for the service, so we will leave it up for the moment. Once we can find an alternative that will do the same things but at a price that will allow FID to offer the service to our members free, then we will just change the link and carry on from there.
Good Hunting,
The FID team.


Every day we receive both email and snail mail from people who are either just about to start metal detecting or who have just started and wonder what to do next.

We have all been in their position and one time or another and I would ask fellow detectorists to be patient helpful with these newcomers to our wonderful hobby. If you meet them out detecting, or on the net in a chat room or newsgroup, please take a little time to help them. The hobby needs new blood because only numbers matter in the fight to stop bans and prohibitions. You can have the best cause in the world but if you are only a small group, authority will take no notice of anything you say however reasonable it may be.


Buy as many hobby magazines as you can and read about it before rushing out to get a machine and start detecting. Join an organisation or club so that you can demonstrate to landowners that you are responsible. Don’t buy the most expensive detector just because it’s the latest technology, if you have trouble working it or just don’t get as much out of the hobby as you expected it could wind up an expensive item in the attic. Good earphones are nearly as important as the detector itself, no good the machine hearing a deep coin but not passing the information on to you. Remember every bit of land belongs to someone, so make sure you have valid permission before detecting. It’s a good idea to practice in your own yard with a few metal objects in plastic envelopes with a piece of string attached, bury them at different depths and see how they sound.

We could go on and on but probably wouldn’t cover the things you would like to know, so if you are a newcomer to detecting, think carefully about the things you need to know and ask either in your club or organisation, or in a newsgroup or chatroom or write to your local magazine.

Good Hunting,
The FID team.


Letters, news items, criticism, articles, all are welcome and subject to available space will be included in 'Online News' as soon as possible. Just send them to 'Fid Online News' . And like everything in FID your contribution will receive immediate attention! Is very proud to feature such outstanding contributions.

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