What Accessories?

Search Coils There are a variety of coils in different shapes and sizes - some are just a few inches across up to about 18 inches. The coils can be "polo" shaped, elliptical - some are even web shaped. A number of makes of detector allow the ability to change from one type to another so it worth checking before you buy a detector that this is possible. The smaller coils are easier to use on rough ground and overgrown sites where its difficult to manoeuvre and they also tend to have better pinpointing capabilities. The advantage of larger coils is that you can cover more ground in a shorter space of time and they often have greater depth capabilities. However it also means that these are heavier to wield and are suited to flat ground surfaces Headphones Its best to use headphones with your detector (although most have built in speakers) as they help to reduce any outside noise which can mask any faint signals. Although you can use mostly any type of headphones - its best to use some with volume control and also comfortable generously padded earpieces - this prevents headaches after several hours use and are more user-friendly for spectacle users. Digging Implements Buy the strongest that you can afford - whether you choose a simple 4" archaeologist's trowel or a long handled foot-assisted spade - a cheap digger won't last long in the field! That said there are some very reasonablly priced stainless steel spades to be had! For grassland a sharp knife or a sturdy garden trowel can be used to remove a plug of soils. Detector retailers also sell special beach scoops for retrieving finds from sand. Coin probes These are electronic probes which are hand held - these are useful when searching in hard compacted ground as they enable you to locate a find in a hole without further unnecessary digging. Finds bags Most detectorists wear waistband type pouches to carry any "good" finds. You don't want to place your good finds in beside all the odds and ends you would find - this will do more damage

to them than the centuries of argiculture and corrosion could ever do! The most rugged and reliable is ex-military equipment - you can buy a webbing belt with ammunition pouches from an army surpus store. These can contain your GPS unit, marker pen, finds bag, spare batteries etc. Use one pouch for good finds and the other for junk. Its best to carry a selection of self sealing bags to keep all finds separate from one another - all the finds should be individually bagged and numbered - use the type with a write on strip - you can then write the precise grid reference on this.
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Basic Kit Sturdy boots or wellies! Warm or waterproof clothing! Gloves Basic First Aid kit note pad and pencil (or the finds record sheets available on the downloads page) mobile phone spare batteries

Other items Quilted suits from fishing tackle shops are useful in really cold weather! A number of detectorists also take along with them a digital camera for recording important finds in situ if professional help cannot be summoned. GPS unit - more and more detectorists are now using these to plot their finds

Search methods
If you are detecting a large area with no particular concentration of finds then a more rapid rate over a wide area might be appropriate. You can then assess whether it is a potentially good site by adopting an explorative search technique. One method often used is known as the "Union Jack" system. This is done by detecting around the perimeter of the field and then searching corner to corner as in the diagram. This can help ascertain whether there are any productive areas that you might want to concentrate on.

If you do find a productive area a more methodical search pattern and approach can be used to maximise your find rate. One way of achieving this is to use a "criss-cross" technique. Use pegs and string to mark out the area and search by slowly overlapping each sweep of your detector. For optimum coverage repeat the process at right angles

Some Q & A's
My signal has disappeared when I dig! Check the following:
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Make sure that you havent excavated the find and placed it over a large piece of buried iron which is cancelling out the signal Check it hasnt fallen back into the hole you have excavated Check its not stuck to your shovel

What should I do if the landowner insists that finds should not be reported? You have a difficulty. The landowner is within his rights - unless the finds are treasure, in which case you have no choice. However, our advice would be not to detect at all on land belonging to someone who wishes to withhold information about finds. If you are not in a position to report finds it is best not to seek them. Why are recording and reporting important? Even objects apparently loose in ploughsoil have an historic setting. Some items will be genuine losses and could appear anywhere, but many will come from archaeological sites (e.g. settlements, cemeteries, buildings) where the remains may survive under the ploughsoil or nearby. The plotting of finds can produce patterns which are of historical significance including pottery scatters etc.. The reporting of even a single find can add to existing knowledge. If you suspect that an object is undisturbed in its original context (for example. in a container, or below the ploughsoil) leave it where it is and call for help from your local archaeology unit. Non-Metal Finds A broken piece of plain pottery can be just as interesting and important as a brooch in excellent condition. If you are out detecting, surface scatters of non-metallic materials such as pottery, flints and bulding materials should be reported, even when detector results are negative. Can Archaeologists seize finds ? No! Museums and archaeological bodies do not have the power to confiscate finds. Human remains

Human remains and disused burial grounds are also protected by law. A licence from the Home Office is required before disturbing any human remains where their presence is known or suspected. If you disturb or discover human remains accidentally then you must inform the Coroner as well as the County Archaeological Service. A lot of detectorists are going to come across cemeteries in the course of their activities - you must bear in mind that it is an offence to exhume any human remains without first obtaining the necessary lawful permissions - see the following: http://www.lincsheritage.org/lincs/radio/remains.html http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/section.asp?pageType=1&docId=28081 (scroll down). Weapons If you dig up a firearm you must immediately hand it in to the police

Getting permission
If you wish to metal-detect on land which is not your own, you must get permission from the landowner, regardless of the the status or perceived status of the land, before you do so. This includes land that is publicly accessible such as beaches, parks, commons and footpaths. A number of local authorities have specific policies restricting the use of metal-detectors on their land. You are therefore advised to contact the County Council and relevant District Councils to seek permission before detecting on any Council owned land If you metal-detect on land without consent, you may be charged with a criminal offence and you could be sued for damages. Knocking on doors brings more results than letters, but many people like to follow this form of introduction, then follow it up with a personal visit or phone call. Some tips :
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Eye to eye is the best contact method. Take along a few samples and offer to make up a personal box for him. Explain to him that all you find he owns but a 50/50 arrangement is the norm. Try to show him what you have found every trip - most like that sort of contact.

Typical permission request forms and letters

Click the links below for typical permission request forms and letters (you will need to amend to suit yourself) Example 1 Example 2 Who owns the land? In most cases its easy to find out who owns the land - but there may be occasions when you just can't find out. Most but not all land is registered with the land registry. To acquire this information requires filling in a form and applying at a cost of £4 per individual application. http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/assets/library/documents/lrpg051.pdf (Will give you the Land Registry office dealing with specific areas of the UK.) General information on www.landregisteronline.gov.uk or www.landregistry.gov.uk

Land is sometime not owned by the farmers and is leased to them, hence the information you acquire may not directly relate to the occupier of the land you are interested in searching. This can also involve getting multiple permissions to search some properties. Agreement with landowners To avoid disputes you are advised to enter into a written agreement with the landowner regarding the possible ownership of any finds subsequently discovered, before detecting on his/her land. Click here for a typical agreement form Beach detecting http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/metal_detecting Just over half of the UK's coast is owned by the Crown and the other half is in private ownership. Technically you have rights of access to the beach, but not to search. Anyone wishing to go metal detecting on Crown Estate foreshore will require a permit . The standard permit will be valid for twelve months and for this they charge an administrative fee of £20.00 (inclusive of VAT). The Crown Estate own everything between mean high and mean low tide. Above high water will be in private ownership. They also lease the coast line to third parties and can advise who currently has the rights.