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Metal detecting

Metal detecting is a popular hobby, but there are some important factors to bear in mind in deciding where to go:

  • Landowner permission is essential, and you may also need to liaise with tenant farmers.
  • Metal detecting is illegal on protected sites such as Scheduled Monuments without consent from Historic England. This is highly unlikely, unless it is part of a wider consented archaeological investigation.
  • On land that is under agri-environment agreements, detecting must be away from known archaeological features. The farmer should check their agreement, otherwise they could be in breach.
  • Some land may also be unavailable at particular times – such as during the bird nesting season, as many of our birds nest on the ground.
  • On Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) you should consult Natural England.

If you are uncertain whether the area you have in mind falls into any of these categories, then you can check its status using the MAGIC online GIS. 

Any significant findings need to be reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme.