Before Jack left he asked me to raise this topic ,with the association members.At the moment local authorities in Derbyshire are making policy changes to facilitate the transfer of looking after community assets to local community groups and voluntery associations.All over Derbyshire there are small areas of land which are underused and neglected.Jack asked us to think about exploring the possibility of taking on the management of one of these small areas in return for allowing us to test the performance of various detectors, through the creation of test beds.He and I also feel that we could also use this area to practice metal detecting procedures regarding hoards and items that were meant to be retrieved.
the data from these tests could be used to give totally independent and unbiased performance results of various metal detectors, and safe techniques could be devised when detecting possible hoards and items which were meant to be retrieved.We would hope to publish all this for free ,for the benefit of detectorists nationally and to promote our lovely hobby positively.
Obviously great care would have to be taken with the choosing of the location.A compact site of varying soils and low mineralisation/ trash would be ideal.To prevent squatters from moving in ,a location which is well fenced and where vehicle access would be very difficult , would be an essential requirement.
because we would not own the asset it would not conflict with our common practices and beliefs.Local authorities would retain ownership but we believe leases would be offered for very long terms for peppercorn rents.Obviously very detailed discussions regarding public liability responsibility would have to take place with the local authority .A possible way of reducing this possible potential cost would be to co-manage the location for mutual benefit with another different hobby group such as a wildlife group, or a birdwatching association,conservation or even an archaeology club.
I look forward to your comments feedback about this proposal.