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Thread: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

  1. #1
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    Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Hi all,
    I am a keen metal detectorist and do it solely due to my interest in history.
    I have permission to detect on a farm near Holmes Chapel and the farmer is happy for me to detect and see what I find. (Also like his bottle I bring him at Xmas as a thank you!)
    I always ask each time I wish to visit as to me that is how it should be.
    This farmer is however the exception to the rule. Most farmers appear uninterested in people going detecting on their land or will only allow it if you are in a club and pay for the privilege.
    Obviously I totally understand that it is the landowners right to say no but it is a shame as cropped fields often lay untouched for months so I do not understand why it appears to be an issue.
    Would really appreciate your views on the subject.
    Many thanks
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Hello MickyTommo. No one has answered you yet and you do at least deserve some response. Here is my take on the matter and it is one that a lot of people may disagree with, including yourself, but hopefully you will consider my thoughts.

    Our land is something more than most non-farming people realise. It's not just something that is brown and which we scratch around on the top now and then and hopefully grow something that will earn us some money. We know that it is a living entity, we know that it has been here for thousands of years and hopefully for a few more yet. We know that if we abuse it we will ultimately pay for the misdemeanour. Some of us have worked our tonsils off to buy and pay for it. The upshot of all this is that we become very attached to it. Let me tell you a story. I knew a man, sadly no longer with us, who was one of the better farmers in Warwickshire, who was interviewed on television about the fact that HS2 is going straight through his farm, about 150 metres from his house. He was a man who commanded respect because of his tenacity, the fact that he farmed cows, potatoes, cereals, in fact a farmer that the industry could be proud of.

    But that interview was shattering. In life nothing fazed this man but it was plain to see that he was close to tears when talking about the subject. As he said, "we have cared for this land, we have looked after it, and it has looked after us"

    And so finally to my point. I, and I may be alone in saying this, do not want anyone else coming over my land digging it up, looking for possible treasures. My farm is my enlarged garden, would you want anyone coming to dig in your garden looking for treasures ? And there are other issues nowadays. In this county we are being deluged by livestock rustling. Mostly sheep and some are being butchered in the fields. I am not suggesting for a minute that you are connected with anything remotely like that but can you see our reluctance in allowing people free reign to walk about our land ?

    I can understand that it is a very interesting hobby and the area where I live has a lot of history but as far as I'm concerned it can remain where it lies.

    I hope you find some area to carry out your hobby, I am not decrying it for one moment, but you deserved an answer to your question and the above is my take on it. But good luck anyway.

  3. #3
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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Cropped fields may often look untouched for months but growing crops do not want their root structures disturbing. Walking across growing crops bruises the stems and sets the plants back, maybe not much but enough that it may be a day or so behind the next plant. This can cause a problem when grain ripens as we want it all ready together otherwise some damp grain can ruin the whole lot.

    Bio secruity is a problem on land that has livestock grazing on it. My sheep are MV accredited, how do I know that someone coming into the fields are not wearing the same boots that they wore yesterday on land grazed by non accredited sheep that may have MV? What seems like me being pernickity now could be very expensive in the future if I am not.

    At this time of year the wildlife is looking after young. I have a good idea where nests and scrapes are, where the deer have hidden their fawns and the hares their leverets. I do not want anyone aimlessly blundering about and disturbing them. I have had people nearly stand on something as they are so well camouflaged and do not move. Unless you know what you are looking for they are easy to miss.

    Ok I hold my hands up I am a grumpy old git that does not like strangers.

  4. #4
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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    There are a couple of other "issues" to consider
    1 - "monkey see - monkey do" - people see one person wandering across fields and think it is "fair game" for everyone to just "take a walk-about" as if it is a public park
    2- liability - in today's world of "sue first - accept your own responsibility later", should someone be accidentally injured your lawyers will be involved

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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Welcome to the forum Mickytommo

    Firstly, by "cropped fields lying untouched" I suspect you mean stubble or red land (harvested root crops) rather than growing crops?

    We have a club from somewhere in England (Can't remember where but I have a card somewhere) who come here for their annual jolly. They camp on the farm next door and visit a few local farms over the weekend, just doing one or two fields on each one so it's not a big deal for any one farm. They're very tidy, even in grass fields you'd hardly know they'd been there. They don't dig big holes, mostly just the depth of the spade, and they put the turf back when they've finished.
    A couple of years ago, one of them rocked up in the yard carrying a big adjustable that I'd managed to plough in the previous Spring

    However, being members of a club does give them a degree of 'respectability'. One random guy turning up in the yard could just be casing the joint...

    Would your tame farmer not vouch for you with his neighbours? That might be your best bet to expand your horizons.

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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Hello MickyTommo. No one has answered you yet and you do at least deserve some response. Here is my take on the matter and it is one that a lot of people may disagree with, including yourself, but hopefully you will consider my thoughts.

    Our land is something more than most non-farming people realise. It's not just something that is brown and which we scratch around on the top now and then and hopefully grow something that will earn us some money. We know that it is a living entity, we know that it has been here for thousands of years and hopefully for a few more yet. We know that if we abuse it we will ultimately pay for the misdemeanour. Some of us have worked our tonsils off to buy and pay for it. The upshot of all this is that we become very attached to it. Let me tell you a story. I knew a man, sadly no longer with us, who was one of the better farmers in Warwickshire, who was interviewed on television about the fact that HS2 is going straight through his farm, about 150 metres from his house. He was a man who commanded respect because of his tenacity, the fact that he farmed cows, potatoes, cereals, in fact a farmer that the industry could be proud of.

    But that interview was shattering. In life nothing fazed this man but it was plain to see that he was close to tears when talking about the subject. As he said, "we have cared for this land, we have looked after it, and it has looked after us"

    And so finally to my point. I, and I may be alone in saying this, do not want anyone else coming over my land digging it up, looking for possible treasures. My farm is my enlarged garden, would you want anyone coming to dig in your garden looking for treasures ? And there are other issues nowadays. In this county we are being deluged by livestock rustling. Mostly sheep and some are being butchered in the fields. I am not suggesting for a minute that you are connected with anything remotely like that but can you see our reluctance in allowing people free reign to walk about our land ?

    I can understand that it is a very interesting hobby and the area where I live has a lot of history but as far as I'm concerned it can remain where it lies.

    I hope you find some area to carry out your hobby, I am not decrying it for one moment, but you deserved an answer to your question and the above is my take on it. But good luck anyway.
    Hi Zaza
    Firstly thank you for your reply and the amount of time that you have taken to explain in depth your views.
    I totally understand all of your points raised and would not argue against any of them.
    It is unfortunate that because there are thieves and unscrupulous people around that trust is very difficult to gain. This is even more frustrating as the Ďnight hawkersí wonít ask and will just go on as they donít care.
    This is what I see as the main issue as the response is normally a flat NO without being able to explain myself.
    I do at least now know how double glazing salesmen feel! 🤣
    Anyway thanks again for taking the time!

  7. #7
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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Quote Originally Posted by MC130 View Post
    Welcome to the forum Mickytommo

    Firstly, by "cropped fields lying untouched" I suspect you mean stubble or red land (harvested root crops) rather than growing crops?

    We have a club from somewhere in England (Can't remember where but I have a card somewhere) who come here for their annual jolly. They camp on the farm next door and visit a few local farms over the weekend, just doing one or two fields on each one so it's not a big deal for any one farm. They're very tidy, even in grass fields you'd hardly know they'd been there. They don't dig big holes, mostly just the depth of the spade, and they put the turf back when they've finished.
    A couple of years ago, one of them rocked up in the yard carrying a big adjustable that I'd managed to plough in the previous Spring

    However, being members of a club does give them a degree of 'respectability'. One random guy turning up in the yard could just be casing the joint...

    Would your tame farmer not vouch for you with his neighbours? That might be your best bet to expand your horizons.
    Thanks for your welcome and reply!
    Lol yes I meant harvested fields (not a good start!) 😩
    I am a member of a number of detecting clubs and there is certainly a place for them to. (Although some of these are run by money grabbers!)
    It is however nice to have somewhere you can spend an hour or two searching.
    My landowner has said he will speak to other local farmers but I donít like to push this as he was good enough to let me on his land and I donít want to be a nuisance.
    It is also good to have different areas to search.
    Iím pretty sure that given the opportunity to have a good conversation with the farmer they would perhaps have a different view?

  8. #8
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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
    There are a couple of other "issues" to consider
    1 - "monkey see - monkey do" - people see one person wandering across fields and think it is "fair game" for everyone to just "take a walk-about" as if it is a public park
    2- liability - in today's world of "sue first - accept your own responsibility later", should someone be accidentally injured your lawyers will be involved
    Hi ironhead and thanks for your reply.

    I think that most legitimate detectorists who saw another detecting on land would actually stay clear. Night hawkers will always do what they want though and these are the people who give the hobby a bad name.
    With regard to liability this is a very good point. This is why there is a contract signed so that the landowner has no liability and also has a right to 50% of the value should a hoard be found. Most respectable detectorists also have liability insurance.

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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    Cropped fields may often look untouched for months but growing crops do not want their root structures disturbing. Walking across growing crops bruises the stems and sets the plants back, maybe not much but enough that it may be a day or so behind the next plant. This can cause a problem when grain ripens as we want it all ready together otherwise some damp grain can ruin the whole lot.

    Bio secruity is a problem on land that has livestock grazing on it. My sheep are MV accredited, how do I know that someone coming into the fields are not wearing the same boots that they wore yesterday on land grazed by non accredited sheep that may have MV? What seems like me being pernickity now could be very expensive in the future if I am not.

    At this time of year the wildlife is looking after young. I have a good idea where nests and scrapes are, where the deer have hidden their fawns and the hares their leverets. I do not want anyone aimlessly blundering about and disturbing them. I have had people nearly stand on something as they are so well camouflaged and do not move. Unless you know what you are looking for they are easy to miss.

    Ok I hold my hands up I am a grumpy old git that does not like strangers.
    Hi Barney
    I actually meant harvested fields (what a fool I am!)
    I would never go on planted fields and also totally understand the bio security issue. I donít personally like detecting in fields with livestock as I think that is pushing what is reasonable.
    Yes I too like wildlife and my digging mate often tells me to shut up when I get excited by deer tracks! 😃
    Strangely enough I am also a miserable git (according to my wife anyway!) in fact it is her that often tells me to stop annoying her and go out and detect! Hence my dilemma!

  10. #10
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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Hello again MickyTommo and thank you for your comprehensive replies and the good manners that you have shown in providing them and an acknowledgement of the position of the farming profession. Having read all your replies, and in my book I reckon it is possible to judge a person's character by how he writes, if you lived nearer to me I would want to meet you and give you a chance. In my estimation you have the right attitude and with perseverance I am sure that you will find what you are looking for (if you'll pardon the pun )

    May I make a few suggestions ? Have a look in your area for farmer's clubs, discussion groups, etc. We have an organisation in farming called the National Farmer's Union and they are responsible for lots of lots of things to do with the farming World. From lobbying Government () to providing a large proportion of the insurance taken out by the farming community. Find out who your nearest "Group Secratary" is and speak to him/her, they may be able to help.

    If you have a local livestock market go there and see if you can interact with people. Speak to a rural auctioneer who will know who might be more convivial than others.

    Think outside of the box, you've already done that by posting on here but there are other farming forums besides this one. Good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for (oh dear, these puns are getting awful - )

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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Hello again MickyTommo and thank you for your comprehensive replies and the good manners that you have shown in providing them and an acknowledgement of the position of the farming profession. Having read all your replies, and in my book I reckon it is possible to judge a person's character by how he writes, if you lived nearer to me I would want to meet you and give you a chance. In my estimation you have the right attitude and with perseverance I am sure that you will find what you are looking for (if you'll pardon the pun )

    May I make a few suggestions ? Have a look in your area for farmer's clubs, discussion groups, etc. We have an organisation in farming called the National Farmer's Union and they are responsible for lots of lots of things to do with the farming World. From lobbying Government () to providing a large proportion of the insurance taken out by the farming community. Find out who your nearest "Group Secratary" is and speak to him/her, they may be able to help.

    If you have a local livestock market go there and see if you can interact with people. Speak to a rural auctioneer who will know who might be more convivial than others.

    Think outside of the box, you've already done that by posting on here but there are other farming forums besides this one. Good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for (oh dear, these puns are getting awful - )
    Hi again Zaza!
    That is most heartening to hear you say! Sorry, I donít even know what part of the country you are in.
    Yes I do indeed need to spend time Ďharvestingí relationships (two can play at this game!) 🤣
    Interestingly, I got my sole permission by visiting a agricultural machinery supplier in the area I was interested in and asked the chap there ďwho is the friendliest farmer in the areaĒ. He gave me the name of the farmer and farm and I paid a visit. (I have to say that I really do not like turning up unannounced as it feels like intrusion!)
    The farmer spent a good hour with me and was such a gentleman. He did tell me I was lucky I hadnít gone to the farm across the road because he would have chased me off with his shotgun! 😵
    It is in my opinion very much a case of getting in front of the right person at a convenient time!
    I will keep trying!

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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    I can see the difficulty in the first meeting, cold calling is not a good idea but what about this ? Write just a few hand written letters (not photo-copied) saying who you are and what you are looking for and pop them in to farm letter boxes. Part of the letter could say that you would like to follow up with a meeting so that you can be "appraised". I would make it clear that you are an individual and not a member of a club and I would also at least put a contact no. and maybe an address explaining that if they don't want to see you then at least they could contact you and tell you so. And put a time and date when you intend to visit with a view to being "vetted" If you hear nothing from some of them then make the visit. Not at inconvenient times, i.e. meal times, possibly not Sundays, etc.

    It would help enormously if you have the man's name rather than starting your letter "Dear Sir"

    You've got some work to do but you'll get there. Good luck.

  13. #13
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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    I can see the difficulty in the first meeting, cold calling is not a good idea but what about this ? Write just a few hand written letters (not photo-copied) saying who you are and what you are looking for and pop them in to farm letter boxes. Part of the letter could say that you would like to follow up with a meeting so that you can be "appraised". I would make it clear that you are an individual and not a member of a club and I would also at least put a contact no. and maybe an address explaining that if they don't want to see you then at least they could contact you and tell you so. And put a time and date when you intend to visit with a view to being "vetted" If you hear nothing from some of them then make the visit. Not at inconvenient times, i.e. meal times, possibly not Sundays, etc.

    It would help enormously if you have the man's name rather than starting your letter "Dear Sir"

    You've got some work to do but you'll get there. Good luck.
    Hi Zaza
    Sorry for my delayed response.
    Many thanks for your suggestions, I will definitely use them in my endeavours to find some land to detect.
    In the meantime I will have to stick to club digs so itís off to Staffordshire this Sunday! 😃
    Last edited by Mickytommo; 09-05-19 at 11:21 AM. Reason: Typo

  14. #14
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    Re: Metal detecting- Yes or No?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickytommo View Post
    Hi Zaza
    Sorry for my delayed response.
    Many thanks for your suggestions, I will definitely use them in my endeavours to find some land to detect.
    In the meantime I will have to stick to club digs so itís off to Staffordshire this Sunday! 😃
    I have a chap on the site who goes detecting, only by permission. He shared a £5000 coin with another farmer.
    I think it is probably best to allow a genuine bloke, as he might detect something that the night birds would steal anyway.
    jack caley

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