Our Common Practices and Beliefs

Even though we are a small group of very independent detectorists ,we have agreed to follow a set of common practices and beliefs as regards our lovely hobby.
In the following sections we hope to lay these out but also explain why we all adopted them.
The sections are laid out in no particular order but we regard them all as equally important.
We hope that our common practices and beliefs provide insipiration for other hobbyists to follow and adopt too.

COMMON PRACTICE

Here are some of the things that we all agree to carry out.
Fill all holes always and in such a way as they can not be easily reopened again by grazing farm animals and wild life.We also agree not to leave earth stains on the grass, so if we do dig soil it will be placed on a cloth etc so as not to mark the grass.Maintain a balance between safely saving the item and making the minimum excavation possible.Only continue excavating if the object appears to be casually lost.If at any stage the object appears to have been placed  with the intention of retrieving it later,or appears to be part of a hoard,then stop excavating and contact the relevant authorities.By doing this good practice,we can never be accused by individuals and organisations of taking  items out of the ground and destroying its archaeological context.
Be respectful of nature and others whilst enjoying our lovely hobby.Use walkie talkies or don’t shout out loud if your with another detectorist.Avoid river detecting whilst birds are nesting and fish are spawning.Dont be like some other non metal detecting  recreational groups who go around the countryside roaring and shouting,or up and down rivers on boats using loud hailers and churning up the riverbed.
Respect the countryside code.
Respect the 1996 treasure act.
Report all appropriate finds that fit into the categories defined by the 1996 Treasure Act  to the PAS.
Respect the by-laws for the areas you will be detecting in.In Derbyshire this can also apply regarding the parking of vehicles,and how you transport yourself through certain areas.
Respect the religious beliefs of others when detecting near places of worship.Contact the relevant people first and seek their approval.
Always use a find pouch and take away all rubbish you find.
Always safely remove and dispose all hypodermic syranges and sharps you find.
Always check before you detect to make sure that the area is not an archaeological protected location.
Always be nice to the public
Always carry your current association membership card whilst detecting.
Be willing to help out new members by sharing good habits and offer to go detecting with them but remember all children and young adults must be accompanied by their legal guardians at all times.
Always be respectful and polite to officials and individuals within the following ,The Big Society,The Constabulary,City Town County and Parish councils.
As we are a collection of individual detectorists who just agree on a common set of practices and beliefs ,the association does not organise any events, functions etc.
Each individual detectorist is encouraged to meet other members whilst participating in the hobby ,but this has to be organised by the people individually and it is up to each person to make sure that if they are going detecting with others that they have a pre-search guest detectorist agreement drafted in advance concerning finds ,insurance,elimination of liability for accidents,incidents and loss or damage to property etc.,
Promote our lovely hobby positively at all times.

HEALTH AND SAFETY FOR OUR HOBBY

We are very lucky that Metal detecting has a very positive health and safety record ,compared to other outdoor recreational hobbies and pursuits.Rescues and incidents involving the emergency services are rare for our hobby.However with the ever increasing number of participants in our lovely hobby we have to be careful that this great record does not get tarnished.We have all chatted and come up with some ideas and tips for our hobby ,to use and share with other detectorists.
Always tell someone where you will be searching.
When searching be aware of your surroundings, so eyes up from time to time.
Be careful of animals and wildlife.try not to detect in fields where animals are grazing.Thankfully we do not have the same problems as our American and some European hobbyists regarding wildlife but we do have to be careful of farm animals and especially uncontrolled dogs.If a farm animal is in distress contact the farmer .They have years of experience in animal husbandry and know how to rescue animals without putting themselves in danger.
Have a mobile phone in an easy to reach place on your person and have ICE numbers in the phone book.Make sure that the key lock is on so that you don’t dial the emergency services by accident whilst detecting.
Be very careful when searching rivers and riverbanks.Whilst we do encourage young people to metal detect ,we have all agreed not to bring them searching on rivers or river banks due to the increased risk of danger.
Wear appropriate gloves and avoid handling sharps with your hands.use appropriate and safe storage methods for sharps and syranges.
If live ammunition guns or objects which look like bombs are found, do not continue excavating.Guns can have live ammunition inside the breech and live ammunition or bombs can explode if handled.Instead keep back at least 300 feet and call the police for assistance
Avoid searching woods in windy weather conditions.
Be very careful if you decide to mark out your search area so as not to cause an accident.
Wear appropriate clothing so as not to cause an accident or be a distraction to others.this is especially important if searching areas visible in the distance from roads.if the search area is close to a road ,then search it at a time of the day when road traffic is quiet.
We don’t approve of detecting at night as it has the potential to put yourself at a greater risk of an accident,plus your lights can scare people and be a distraction to motorists.
We have to remember that one of the largest Road traffic accidents in England was apparently caused by a driver being distracted from something outside the vehicle.So we would never want our lovely hobby to be blamed for causing any deaths or injuries.
Wear appropriate footwear and always thoroughly clean them after you finish detecting to stop the spread of disease from farm to farm .
Take precautions to prevent yourself getting infected with lymes disease and other illnesses which can be picked up from outdoor hobbies.
So we hope that our health and safety tips that we follow will be beneficial to others and that our lovely hobby retains its excellent health and safety record

RALLIES

It has been quite noticeable over the last few years of an increasing trend towards ever larger metal detecting rallies.Even though many rallies raise much needed funds for good causes,these types of events may do more harm than good in the long term.We feel it damages the individual relationships between detectorist and landowner,detectorist and the public.It also raises the spectre of finds being planted to make rallies more attractive ,and introduces another unwelcome financial and legal relationship between the landowner,rally organiser and detectorist.It also increases the possibility of finds not being properly reported and recorded.Large events like this can produce negative media attention and footage,which can be distorted by unscrupulous organisations to the detriment and future of our lovely hobby.We are concerned that if these events increase in size and continue it will lead to calls by the public and other organisations for licensing,planning permission,permits and prohibition of metal detecting by local councils/parish councils/city and county councils etc.
Therefore we have all agreed that we do not endorse rallies, and that as individuals we will not attend, organise or promote any rallies .We have also agreed that no more than 3/ three metal detectorists will engage in this lovely hobby together at any one location.
We actively encourage metal detectorists to support charities ,but not through the proceeds of rallies.

THE BIG SOCIETY

One of the biggest changes we have noticed as detectorists in the last few years,is the ever increasing role of the Big Society in areas which would have traditionally been the preserve of local/national government.This has come about because of the huge cutbacks in the funding of local and national government services.Some older detectorist tend to be foolishly dismissive about these organisations and are critical in that they are unregulated ,unsupervised ,and individuals within some of these organisations have no accountability to higher authorities.Whilst this may be the case it is important to note that the Big Society will increasingly be used to enforce and monitor ,local bye-laws, regulations and activities in Parish,Town and County Council areas and on private property too.
Sticking our individual heads in the sands and ignoring these changes is not the best course of action. We have all decided to work alongside all these various organisations and to maintain positive relations with them.At the same time we will try to establish what individuals within these organisations legally can and can not do in their roles ,and to whom they are accountable to in higher authorities.By educating ourselves and other detectorists about these matters it will lead to a smooth and pleasant interaction between detectorists in the pursuit of our lovely hobby and officials in their roles in the many and various organisations that increasingly make up the big society.

OUR INVALUABLE SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC.

For decades Metal Detectorists have been providing an invaluable free service to the public in the pursuit of our lovely hobby.Individual detectorists remove heavy metals off land which cause environmental damage through leaching,not to mention all the rubbish that is removed too.There are very few organisations or groups of individuals that can match or out perform the positive environmental work that metal detectorists achieve.The pursuit of our hobby also allows us to be the eyes and ears for landowners and environmental organisations.As individual detectorist we also save modern and old casual loss coins and relics from the increasing modern environmental corrosion.IF many of these items were left another 50 to 100 years in the ground there would be nothing left for future generations to recover because of the increasing pollution of the environment.We also provide a unique service in helping to recover lost items for owners.We also remover heavy metals /batteries from the ground  which can poison wildlife and leach into ground drinking water.But most importantly of all individual detectorists save lives in that they safely remove and properly dispose of used hypodermic syranges and sharp items,which have been recklessly dumped by adults,which if left there could cause serious injury and death to wildlife ,children and members of the public.

However individually and collectively as detectorists we are very poor at promoting our lovely hobby as an invaluable service to the public.In the past there has been too much emphasis on developing a good relationship with other individual organisations to the detriment of the general public.If our lovely hobby is to be preserved we must promote ourselves more positively to the general public so that they see that the pursuit of our hobby as an essential positive free public service.As individual detectorists we will try harder and share ideas between ourselves and other detectorists. And groups in order to achieve this aim.We hope that our ideas will be copied by other hobbyists, metal detecting. Groups /associations.

Membership.

Membership of the Making Derby Safer Metal Detecting Association is free.
Membership is open to Amateur Metal Detectorists only.Sorry we can not accept people who are professional metal detectorists, companies involved in metal detecting tourism,or paying metal detectorists tourists from inside or outside England.
Applicants will first have to pass a 6 /six month probationary period ,where their metal detecting behaviour is monitored.
Members don’t have to have public liability insurance ,but if you are going on to private permissions ,or as a guest of other members then they may insist that you have public liability insurance and legal cover.Oftentimes you may be covered by the landowners public liability insurance and your own house insurance.Be sure to check all this out first.
Membership is open to all people who are living ,working in Derbyshire.In exceptional circumstances we can include people from outside Derbyshire if they are joining for just one year so that they learn from us and then they set up a similar group to us within their own area.
Young adults and children can become members too provided that their legal guardians are members too.
Membership of the association is limited to 10 / ten people,and we do recognise that a lot of people will be surprised by this.We keep numbers at this small amount for very good reasons.We hear that other organisations and clubs have membership of 30,50 and some nearly a hundred people,which causes us to ask how can people get to know their fellow detectorists and how can these clubs/ associations ensure high metal detecting practices are carried out.Clubs with these amount of numbers tend to have hierarchical organisation structures which is not our style at all.By keeping numbers down it helps to increase the number of metal detecting organisations in a given area which will strengthen the survival of our lovely hobby and make local government realise that we are not just a small niche hobby to be taken for granted.
Applicants will have to show proof of authenticity for all electronic equipment that they intend to use in the practice of our lovely hobby.Existing members will have to do the same if they acquire a new piece of equipment during the membership year.We do understand that a lot of people will be very shocked by this very unusual request ,but we have a very valid reason for requesting this from applicants and existing members.We have asked this from people since 2011 and we are the only metal detecting association in England that request this from applicants and existing members.The reason for this is that sadly over the last few years there have been several large robberies of metal detector equipment such as occurred with Pepsi Piro .Also there have been robberies of individual machines and equipment from detectorist houses and cars on an increasing rate ever since.it is only a matter of time before metal detectorists are attacked in person because of the equipment they are using.Now we have to ask where has all this stolen equipment gone and a sad guess is that maybe most of it has gone to metal detectorists in England who at the moment can brazenly use their stolen equipment without any fear of being pulled up by metal detecting clubs or rally organisations.So to stop these robberies we are requesting proof of authenticity for metal detectors and pinpointers.These details will appear on your membership card.Please note that if we get an application and the equipment is found to be stolen ,or if we find an existing member using a machine or pinpointer not listed on their membership card ,then we will have to inform the police.We are sure that if every metal detecting club/association did this then the amount of robberies of this nature would decrease and individual metal detectorists personal safety would improve.
We will ask potential and existing members to produce purchase receipts,supplier details,serial numbers.we will check the various police registrars of stolen items and we will contact manafacturers and suppliers as part of our authentification process.
Potential applicants will have to produce picture I’d such as drivers licence etc before a membership card is issued on the positive completion of their probationary period.
Membership is from the 1st of January to the 31st of December annually.
Members and applicants must not be existing members of another metal detecting association or club.Currently a lot of clubs /associations are accepting no new members as they are full,so to be a member in more than one club is unfair on the people waiting to join.
We have all agreed that individuals can be members of national or international metal detecting organisations ,however on joining the association you agree that the Making Derbyshire Safer Metal Detecting Association will remain strictly independent forever and that you refrain from canvassing or pressurising individual members from joining national or international metal detecting organisations.

SAFEGAURDING OUR LOVELY HOBBY FOR PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS

As individuals we are very concerned for the future of our lovely pastime.In a lot of countries in Europe our lovely hobby has effectively been banned ,through legislation or by excessive legal requirements.Currently new and negative trends have started in the USA where complete bans on metal detecting are being introduced over large areas.Some states and areas within states are considering bringing in legislation which would effectively ban our lovely hobby on private property too.
We can only speculate as to why this is happening but clearly some very powerful individuals and organisations are set to benefit from the introduction of blanket banning of metal detecting.We note also the deafening silence from metal detecting manafacturers and distributors about these negative trends.
In England we are in a very lucky situation that whilst participation in other sports and hobbies is decreasing ,the participation rate in metal detecting continues to grow annually.Historically detectorists may have had a false sense of security for our lovely hobby when being herded into two large national organisations.Clearly the situation developing in the USA shows us that the real danger lies in blanket bans on all land at local and county levels .
As individual we have all had a good chat about these negative possibilities and we have some good ideas of things we can do as individuals and groups to safeguard our hobby for present and future generations.
Individually and collectively improve our relations with the general public and make them aware that we are a beneficial hobby and that we provide a free public service by removing  used hypodermic syringes and sharps from areas frequented by wildlife,children and the people.
Improve our relations with other similar hobby groups and help them out if they are facing restrictions on their activities too.
Individually and collectively ask the metal detector manafacturers and distributors what actions they are taking to preserve our lovely pastime.
We should forge greater links with other detector clubs/associations in other countries.
Detectorists should be proactive and put themselves forward as candidates for positions on Parish Councils,Town Councils,Borough Councils,County Councils,and advisory panels for any or all of these local government organisations.We have all agreed that this is one of the most urgent actions metals detectorists need to undertake in order to pass on our lovely hobby to future generations.

OUR BELIEFS

As many detectorists have been practicing our lovely recreational hobby for a very long time in Derbyshire,we firmly believe that we have an acquired legal right to carry out and continue our lovely hobby into the future.
We believe that metal detecting has the same status and rights as other different recreational outdoor hobbies ,and as such our hobby and practitioners should be treated equally to other outdoor hobbies and their participitants ,by the relevant authorities.
As we have provided a free health and safety service by removing sharps,used syringes and dangerous items for many years ,we are totally against the idea and practice of having to pay landowners for the right to metal detect.
We believe that too much of Derbyshires green areas are being lost through deliberate neglect .
Were all totally against the introduction of possible blanket bans in England on metal detecting on all land ,which is currently happening or in the process of happening in some areas of the USA.
We believe in saving as many casual loss coins and relics safely from the increasing threat of environmental corrosion and preserving and correctly recording them for future generations.So many things we are finding now are very badly damaged by environmental pollution that if left in the ground for another 50 years or so there would be nothing left for future generations to find and preserve.

LEGAL NOTICES
Unauthorised publication and reproduction of any content on this site without permission is prohibited.Unfortunately due to some very severe attacks /trolling on our website/past association spokespersons and individual members ,we have had to install security features on our website.The features allow us to monitor our websites for unusual activitity by visitors.By using this site the reader agrees to this and forfeits all legal claims and privileges impeded apon  by this site feature.When we were setting up the association we decided to set it up in such a way that it would provide an alternative organisational structure and practice to the way most metal detecting groups are organised currently.The association does not organise events, such as digs or meetings etc.We don’t have any assets or funds.We don’t have any organisational structure.There is no membership fee. We do not enter into any sort of legal agreement with other individuals such as landowners etc.So therefore there is no possibility of the association or other members being held liable for the actions of individuals ,on themselves or others.

So you have to remember that the association is by legal definition a Collection of individual metal detectorists who all agree on common practices and beliefs only.
The membership card is the personal property of each individual detectorist,and is a public declaration that you have agreed to the principles as set out in our common practices and beliefs.
The association and individual detectorists shall not be liable for actions based or resulting from the inappropriate misuse of another individual detectorists association card by that individual detectorist.
We ask people to hold onto their old association membership cards and to keep them in a safe place as in the future they could be very important in declaring that you have an acquired legal right to carry on the practice of Metal Detecting in Derbyshire.

CONTACTING US

If you are interested in applying for membership or if you are making an enquiry /or wish to to raise an issue with us ,then you can contact us in the following way.

Email . makingderbyshiresafermetaldetectingassociation@mail.com

please remember that we are totally voluntary and that we don’t be on our website every day so it might be a little while before you hear back from us.

©COPYRIGHT.2013.JACK PHILLIPS

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