A comment made today by an anonymous poster who was only trying to cause trouble because of my stance on the nazi war diggers show, got me thinking about my past metal detecting. I have quoted the
"No Gold rings today ? i really hope you do the right thing and hand those into the police station ? after all they most probably belong to someone that is living. If you find a 2000 year artifact in a field then the owner is long deceased but a 40 year old ring is different. Stop acting like you are a Saint Bainsey i know for a fact that you sell the gold rings that you find !!"
Although he was only causing trouble he was factually right. When I first started metal detecting I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I will be candidly honest, my first time metal detecting outside of the back garden was in the local farmers field without permission. Now I realise you have to have permission to detect anywhere and that is just common sense, but at the time I just didn't think like that and to be honest no one told me. Anyway to cut a long story short the farmer was at the other end of the field and had seen me. He came over and asked what the hell I thought I was doing.
I brazenly said metal detecting in your freshly ploughed and rolled field. He was not impressed but after a chat he said he would allow me to metal detect on his land till he had sowed it with crop.
I then realised I needed to start reading up on metal detecting before I get myself in trouble.
It was only then that I learnt something that seems like such a simple concept now, all land is owned by someone so all land needs permission or you are trespassing.
My other sin Is what the anonymous commentor said today. I used to frequently dig gold rings of the beach and rivers edge. I would then weigh in the modern jewellery finds or sell the nicer one's on ebay. It wasn't until I showed my elderly neighbour a ring that I had just found that it dawned on me that I should be handing these modern loses to the police incase someone has reported them lost. So that's what I started doing, I had my last three in. After roughly a month they were not claimed and I was given them back.
So yes I have done some criminal things and ethically wrong things whilst metal detecting. In my defense these were due to lack of knowledge which is no excuse.
I started this blog to try and help others detect responsibly so its only right that I lay my cards on the table and open up about where I once went wrong