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Friday, 14 February 2014

would changes incorporating the scottish treasure trove system beneft us

I have been sent a post to publish by the anonymous reader KPVW unfortunately it was posted in a post from yesterday.  So since it is a good valid question I have set up a new post and will quote his message below

"Andy Just to get things back on track, what would your own personal views be on an change in the current Treasure Act legislation to something similar to the Scottish Treasure act? I know Nigel Swifts ethical metal detecting pledges but think a lot of those are to far reaching at this time and also those pledges seem to have had no input from detectorists themselves. KPVW "

Before I start here  is a link to the treasure trove information page so everyone can have a read up.

I believe the Scottish treasue system is great. I think it has many concepts in it that we could incorporate into our system. For a start the fact that all coins that were issued in 1707 and before have to be reported something unheard of in our treasure system.

I also like the way newer items can be also deemed treasure if it is of historical importance to the nation's past.

Non precious metal finds being recorded as treasure here in England is very rare where as in Scotland many finds have been declared treasure for there importance in history instead of the metal they were made from.

We could definitely benefit by implementing some of the treasure trove ideas and coupling it up with our own pas system.

Thanks for the post KPVW

please let me know all of your  thoughts


  1. Hi Andy

    To be honest I think making changes to the current English treasure act is the only way to go if you want a more ethical approach to detecting, all the arguments that have gone on in the past have not made one iota of difference, yes, it has made some detectorists think about a more "ethical" approach to detecting but without a mandatory change in the existing law nothing will change.

    The difficulty of course if you use the same kind of legislation as the Scottish system is the funding of ex gratia payments for non treasure items, a hell of a lot more finds in England compared to Scotland due to smaller population and less movment of peoples, so not sure how they would get round that.

    On the other hand an historical item for example like the Crosby Garrett helmet if legislation had been changed could have saved the helmet for the nation instead of it ending up in private hands.

    This also brings up the question of ex gratia payments, should a detectorist or member of the public be rewarded for his honesty in reporting finds, I think it is very much a personal choice and depends what the situation is.
    I myself have disclaimed payments for finds because these finds have gone to my own small local museum who can ill afford the extra cost of funding, if finds had gone to a larger city museum outwith my area then I would maybe think differently.

    In an ideal world or maybe Paul and Nigels world no rewards should be taken because as they like to say detectorists are only interested in the history but they seem to forget it is not just detectorist but also landowners who receive payments, payments are not compulsory as Paul and Nigel like to point out but ex gratia (token) payments.


  2. Thank you for that detailed reply. You cover some valid points and raise a couple of questions. I wonder if Paul or Nigel will come along to post their thoughts on the subject


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