Metal detecting on Council-owned land

Information about metal detecting and why it's not allowed on any land we own

You are not allowed to metal detect on any land that is owned or tenanted by us, unless there is a requirement for a metal detecting survey as part of an approved archaeological investigation.

Why can I not metal detect on Council-owned land?

There are a number of problems that can be caused by metal detecting, including:

  • disturbances to listed parks
  • disturbances near to listed buildings
  • damage to tree roots, plants and wildlife
  • trip hazards because land has been disturbed and not put back properly
  • trip hazards where settlement has occurred as a result of land being disturbed
  • artefacts being removed from their original location
  • risk of disturbance to utility services (whether they are recorded ones or not)
  • damage to related archaeological deposits
  • recovering only parts of a collection of items, for example, finding a crown, but missing the jewels that have fallen out and are located a few meters away  
  • unreported discoveries

The National Council for Metal Detecting website has information and advice about how to metal detect and stay within the law.