• Chris Leslie introduction Arable Scotland

Permission for Metal Detecting


New Member
Hi All,
I have a hobby which involves pointing a short pole at the ground, holding it for several hours until your arm feels like it's dropping off.
Yes you've guess it, Metal detecting!!
Me and my better half are responsible metal detectorists, having come from a farming family we are always careful to shut gates, pickup litter, stay away from livestock and always fill in the shallow holes we make.

So we are looking from anyone with land, fields, or a farm in the Southampton or Hampshire area who would not mind us metal detecting on their land, and obviously it goes without saying in the unlikely event anything of value is found the archaeological rules and regulations will be followed.



South Manchester
Hi Tony,
I do metal detecting when I visit my son in Belgium . He took me out to a detecting day, but it was one where they just throw prize discs in the field , guess what , all the prizes were beer ,and wine ones,no good to me as I do not drink. I have tried to get permission to do the same in the UK , but not too far from home , but to no avail as yet . My son has found a lot of what he calls scrap,and he brings it to me,and I like it because there are a lot of old Agricultural things that have turned up. I like cleaning them up, and admiring the early work that went in to making them . I don't like the organized events as there are too many people in the fields ,and some of them leave holes, as they did in the last one I went with my son. I am a member of the National Council For Metal Detecting which includes insurance for liability , this also shows that you are responsible and follow the guidelines of the council,and adhere to the Treasure finding body in the UK.

A lot of people do this as a hobby when crops like maize are finished , and when the fields have been ploughed . It is also good to do the areas around a field that are rough, or woodlands that are surrounded by fields.

Of course the ideal thing is to show whoever you get permission from the things you do find,and anything of great historical value checked out with the treasure trove body in the UK, and an agreement with the landowner to what he wants if anything is found.

I suppose it is down to trust nowadays , and abiding with whatever a landowner will let you do ,and when you can do it.
To me it is an interesting pastime,and you can enjoy a day out with the wife and a packed lunch .


New Member
Hi loner,
Thanks for your reply.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of enthusiasm from farmers, not sure why perhaps it's from others not showing respect for the land.
I'm sure if given a chance we could gain the trust that we won't cause damage.
Do you know what would be the best time of the year to approach land owners, after taking in crops and before replanting.


South Manchester
I don't think there is any special time to approach the landowners,so long as it is not when they are actually gathering crops,or working the land later in the year. Each farmer will have a different work programme depending on what they specialise in .
To some extent you tube posters who put the videos on line of what they find have caused problems.The ones who do not have permission can work out where they are ,and they have then gone at night time with torches,and left fields in a mess.

A lot of those on you tube have equipment that cost over a £1,000 , that is why they tend to get a lot of the finds,but then put the info on their own site on you tube . Be nice to see them sharing them finds with a farmer on their sites .

Anyway if you have a landowner that you feel has a good piece of land ,that looks promising ,then go and approach them ,and explain everything to them , in a polite way.

I have not had the chance as yet to approach anyone near me as I have had a few problems healthwise , and the cold is a no no for me. I souldn't even go with my son when he was over at the Xmas period,he went on an organized event, but it was just so cold, and I had contacted a chest infection, don't like anti biotics, so I just stayed in and sucked plenty of Hacks, & throaties. I think you probably have a lot of history round about where you are,and I wish you luck with your quest in to the past .

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