Author Topic: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting  (Read 2913 times)

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Cavelierchappy

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We are coming to the close soon of 2015.  Most Councils have a tendency when asked in regards to Metal Detecting 'NO'.  Has there been any progress in the rights of the individual legally in regards to our pastime?  What laws (pls give reference) can I argue with and is our NMDC actually forming pressure in Parliament to resolve this issue?  We all really need to push on with this!  I am personally happy to argue our point but need to be pointed in the right direction in regards to our lawful right to combat Councils that state 'NO'.

Gary

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 04:28 pm »
I have been told Hemel council allow people to search some of their parks

gc-1023

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 05:36 pm »
hate to say it but only licenced people should be allowed on council land . id should be shown on request  and holders  should be issued with a little plastic token to leave in the bottom of holes .if holes are done badly or dried out and dead you loose your licence .
   i remember the 70's when detectorists hit public land with reckless abandon . didnt matter if we were in a drought ,they would still dig up the parks and the mess that was left was embarrasing .
     autumn and spring would be sensible time to be allowed access.trying to dig when ground is moist .
    i,m worried that the 200+ plugs i,ve dug this week will die off in the dry weather .hopefully the night time dew is sufficient .
and thats just horse  pasture .

Cavelierchappy

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 06:39 pm »
I agree wholeheartedly that control and possible permits should be issued.  Also seasons for safe detecting.  For me I would never dig on lawn areas of a park.  Councils have plenty of woodland area's with plenty of history among them.  I was just out of interest talking (today) face to face with 'Carl' Rotherham museum curator about this issue.  He was under the impression that the Council just like estate owners and farmers are land owners and therefore have the right to say no.  I felt personally he was wrong (being ever diplomatic never stated so) as any Metropolitan Borough Council although custodians of land for the public are not in the same category as private estate owners and farmers who do not have a duty under law to provide certain groups with access.  Unfortunately a minority of 'cowboys' spoil it for the rest of us who attempt to act in a responsible and reasonable way.  'Carl' the curator stated to me that Rotherham have a blanket policy of 'NO', to any request involving metal detectors.  My question is: Are they (Metropolitan Borough Council) acting within their lawful right or can they clearly as 'Carl' stated make that decision and justify it under the remits of present statutes in law.

huggybbear

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 09:22 pm »
I've seen that some councils don't even allow detecting on the beach. For what reason I don't know if it's for digging holes, they would have to ban all the bairns from digging holes, with their buckets and spades. As I've fell down a couple of deep holes once when I was detecting with my eyes shut! Yes really I do. And an old woman comes across and says are you alright son. Felt a right dick. ;D
And if your detecting you leave the beach cleaner than you found it. As it's in your own interests to pick up the crap.
                        John.

Cavelierchappy

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 10:23 pm »
Thanks John for the comment.  Yes I believe Councils do have a tendency to get a bit ahead of themselves in the 'you can't do this and you can't do that'.  The reason I believe is that most people or individuals do not challenge them within the bounds of law.  Also when the Council official makes such noise they are not so willing at times to specify the department or person who can explain their position legally.  Most times this is because heads of departments and the roles they have responsibility for change like the British weather.  Here in Rotherham because of the 'child exploitation', heads are still rolling and a major re-shuffle of individuals within departments are still going on.  So when I ask to have a meeting with the head involved in the refusal for Metal Detectorists on Council land it is near impossible to get a straight answer (or at least this is the excuse I am given when trying to make such an appointment (darn clever rascals)).  :)

huggybbear

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 11:38 pm »
But as far as beach detecting goes you can't possibly cause damage on sand but they still try it on. What is needed is someone with money to afford a barrister to call the bluff of a council. My guess is it would get thrown out. At least it would set a legal precedent and we would all know where we stand. We see it all the time those in power impose wrong and illegal rules on people just because the can. All I think is it's part of the power trip these people appear to be on.
                           John.

Rew

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2015, 11:48 pm »
I have been told Hemel cdiggingallow people to search some of their parks

We have the same with our local council. But then they stopped giving out permits as idiots were digging up every where, not back filling and making life hell for the grass cutters and other recreational users. Again a minority giving the rest of us a bad name.
I do it with an AKA Sorex Pro

Cavelierchappy

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2015, 12:22 am »
Totally agree a small minority spoil it for the rest of us.  In regards to taking some form of legal counsel; isn't that something our NCMD could or should be shouting about on our behalf?  Their website states and I quote 'The NCMD has gained Government recognition as an organisation which represents metal detector users countrywide. It has played a major role in representing the views of those metal detector users to Government Departments regarding legislation affecting the hobby.
The National Council for Metal Detecting has a written Constitution which is available to all members. It is a member of the Sport + Recreation Alliance ( formerly the Central Council for Physical Recreation).'
It would be great if the NCMD represented our views to the Government and come to some agreement where local Government is directed (by main Government) to co-operate with local folk to sort out a working policy for Metal Detecting in a responsible and productive manner. 
As for beaches there should be no issue whatsoever unless of course the beach is owned privately.

redkite

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 08:11 am »
East Devon  District council allows detecting on beaches.They also all detecting on their land.
the following is copied from their policy!!!!

Metal detecting is allowed in our parks, play areas and gardens. However, digging to recover any finds is banned under section 13 of the bye-law relating to pleasure grounds.


Cavelierchappy

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 08:36 am »
East Devon  District council allows detecting on beaches.They also all detecting on their land.
the following is copied from their policy!!!!

Metal detecting is allowed in our parks, play areas and gardens. However, digging to recover any finds is banned under section 13 of the bye-law relating to pleasure grounds.

LOL so you can scan and identity a possible find; but you cannot physically dig a small hole and retrieve it!  Loving it ...............  this really has to be sorted out.  These councils are taking the mickey (and I believe they know they are).  What wicked senses of humor they must have have.
We most certainly need representation in Parliament over this.  It may be possible that the NCMD and FID have brought this issue up or it may be that they have not.  Time to find out me thinks.

redkite

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2015, 09:18 am »
Just turned up this, part of the  bye law !!

However, digging to recover any finds is banned under section 13 of the bye-law relating to pleasure grounds. This section states that "no person shall remove from or displace in the ground any stone, soil or turf or the whole or any part of any plant or tree". Any breach of this bye-law could result in prosecution.

huggybbear

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2015, 09:46 am »
Out of interest is it legal to detect on a private beach if you stay below the high tide mark. As I thought this was supposed to be Crown property and indirectly owned by the people. Or is there some sort of disclaimer when the beach is sold. The same applies when the council sells off land for houses. How are they allowed to, as council land is supposed to be owned by the residents, and they only manage it.
                    John.

Cavelierchappy

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2015, 04:39 pm »
Redkite each Council can create a local Bylaw, which has to go through a process.  So the Byelaw you mentioned will be connected to a Council like 'Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council' (as an example).  There will be many Councils that have not felt the need at this moment to create a byelaw involving the use of metal detectors on their property.  Even though the words are slightly different they usually use downloaded templates from GOV.UK such as 'Guidance for local authorities about creating byelaws.' (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government/series/model-byelaws) All the local Council does is place the name of the Council at the top modify the words slightly to suit their specific problem, fill it all in and then send to central Gov for approval.  Then place for a month in local newspapers asking for objections (though they can ignore objections) and then make the new or modified byelaw operational.
Interesting to note all byelaws must be available at the main office of the Council involved (This booklet or book would not be free, you would have to pay for it but it should be easily accessible to members of the public).  Today I spent with Council officials trying to find access to Byelaws referring to 'Byelaws for pleasure grounds, public walks and open spaces' Section 57 subsection (1) in reference to Metal Detectors and Section 57 (2) in reference to area excluded from such a byelaw within council property.  So far we have found the Council has no ready access for the public to byelaws they make or claim are in operation (within Rotherham), so next week I have an appointment with archivists at the local Museum (get this records of byelaws for Rotherham hidden away possibly at the Museum) to see whether the Council do have an operational Byelaw against the use of Metal Detectors in Rotherham.  I thought I would update you all as to this excercise in legal spaghetti and the old revolving door syndrome.  P.S. Just because you receive an email when you have requested to Detect on Council land and the answer is 'No', do not automatically accept their is a byelaw in place.  You may be being fobbed off by an departmental head who feels no is the right answer to give or has taken advice from a curator of the local museum (not the most pro-active members of the Metal Detecting fan club).  For me at the moment I am questioning the existence of such a byelaw in Rotherham no matter what departmental heads are stating.  No byelaw, no offence, no offence, no prosecution, no crime!   

Cavelierchappy

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Re: Local Councils duty to allow responsible pastime of Metal Detecting
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2015, 05:09 pm »
Huggybear in regards to Beaches, if it is privately owned beach which some are in my place of birth Devon then permission has to be sought end of.  Now as to how far from the beach is still classed as owned, then we have to go back to very old yet active law (1980's it was still active).  This relates to salvage rights.  Best way to explain it would be an old story involving one of my relatives who was a salvage operator off the coast of Devon.  He for many years had been looking for a very old wreck with a lot of 'Spanish gold' on it.  He believed it was off the coast very near to shore in Devon.  After many years searching this particular area and lots of research and three days after a major storm he found it.  He started to vacuum a hell of a lot of 'Spanish gold coins' and informed the authorities.  Now unfortunately for him the land and beaches in shore were owned by the National Trust and these wise guys, used a very old law that states 'A standard barrel of brandy is to be floated out to sea, as far as man can see the barrel becomes and is the property of shore (beach) owner (just a gist of what legally was stated).'  National Trust were not attempting to claim 50/50, at the time they were attempting to claim the lot.   So if the court accepted this antiquated law then one can assume an owner of a beach owns the lot no matter how far you go out (low or high tide). 
Now Councils work or are supposed to work in the public interest.  UK.Gov encourage Councils to sell off land which is classed as surplus to requirement with the intention of assisting the building of modern housing.  Basically a Council is entrusted by its voted in Councillors to make the best use of the public purse.  Sometimes keeping land and maintaining that land can cost the public a lot of money, and therefore it is deemed wiser for the public to sell off the land and create financial revenue that can be used in a better way.  At times it may be used to buy more land in a more productive area.