Farmers who allow metal detecting

  • Time to read: 6 min.

Metal detecting near me

Where can I go metal detecting?

Gaining permission to metal detect on someone’s land can sometimes be a daunting and very emotive prospect. An easier start would be to initially ask family members, friends and work colleagues if they know anyone who owns some land.

The fact that the person can vouch for you with the landowner will very often make the difference.

Trying to gain search permission from farm owners to some, if not all people is a very awkward thing to carry out.

It can be a desperate plight of you trying to convince someone that you haven’t met that you’re honest, trustworthy and will show the landowner the finds at the end of the day.

Farmers are naturally very busy people and are very shrewd. They like straight talking and don’t suffer fools gladly so can sometimes make the biggest and most confident detectorists crumble to pieces in front of them apologising for wasting their time!

Farmers who allow metal detecting

I’m painting a gloomy picture here but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Let me tell you you a secret!…..there are farmers that allow metal detecting and they can be your greatest asset.

It just so happens that at the time of writing this article, I have a local farm in mind that I pass most days on the way to work.

I know the farm is active but I leave early and get home late as I’m a construction site manager.

This means I never see anyone to quickly pull in.

(I’m making excuses here because nerves get to all of us and I hate rejection!) So, when I have genuinely finished this article, I shall be writing a short letter to the farmer in the hope of gaining permission.

Personally, I think writing a genuine, heart felt plea to a local farmer is one of the best ways to initially make contact. Even if it gets you a foot in the door to introduce yourself and shake hands.

They will instantly know if they like the cut of your jib! A nice little trick here which I’ll pass onto you. I asked our local post lady about the farmer initially and asked if she thought he’d be okay to approach.

She said he was a nice guy!……so….don’t forget to ask your postman or post lady for some leads!

Beach detecting can also be a useful way to get some coil time and give you a nice little side income. Read my article on finding a side income by beach metal detecting here.

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Farmers who allow metal detecting on their land by trustworthy individual detectorists can also benefit in a number of ways. These can often be stated in the initial letter which is what I’ll be doing.

The benefits to a farmer is that you can be an extra set of eyes and ears around the farm.

You may come across broken fences, trespassers, injured livestock, thieves or similar things. The farmer will definitely appreciate any information that’ll help him keep his livelihood in good order.

Farmers who allow metal detecting

Some farmers are also very interested in any history or research you may have carried out on the farm.

I have known many farmers who were interested and even more so when you showed them what was found at the end of the day.

Don’t be afraid to part with some good finds to give to the farmer. You have to play the long game and it’s only fair. Without them, you’d have nowhere to go.

I have also had situations where farmers have welcome us because they wanted us to help find lost rings or watches that have belonged to fathers and grandfathers.

Always sell the fact that you could possibly recover any personal losses and return them!

The final big hitter is giving the farmer your personal guarantee that if anything of any significance was found, that you’d follow the correct procedure and split any proceeds from any sales after a treasure valuation committee 50/50.

There isn’t really a guaranteed way to get a search permission and it really boils down to what which ever way makes you feel most comfortable and works.

Asking family members, friends and work colleagues is a brilliant way to start off because they can introduce you to a landowner. This method is very often the only one you’ll ever need if you’re lucky.

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Councils that allow metal detecting

Most of us have we we assume as “common” land near to where we live. These are the types of grassed places that children play, kick a football around and generally where people go to chill out and picnic.

These areas are looked after by a local authority or council. What must be remembered however is that in the UK, all land belongs to someone. If it isn’t a private landowner, it’ll be the Crown via the local council.

Technically, you do need permission to metal detect anywhere so you would need to seek permission from your local authority. However, try to find a copy of the Bye-laws online and read through it.

It may not intrinsically say “No detecting”. It may just say that you mustn’t do anything that would inhibit the enjoyment of anyone else using the area. Thus, if you’re tidy and fill your holes, it’s all good!

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Another way is to ask the local people who know people!…..try your postman or post lady. Try the local shop owner.

You may even drop into a farm that’s advertising potatoes and eggs and then ask permission. Then there is the subtle way and writing a well structured letter.

Before writing a letter, carry out some research on the farm. This can be included in the letter and may spark some interest.

I can help here by getting you to read my article on using 7 of the best metal detecting research tools on the web here!

Farmers who allow metal detecting

My next tip is to always hand write the letter. I think it’s much less formal than a typed letter and just feels much more sincere and heartfelt.

I feels like you have put in much more effort that hopefully will be appreciated.

My next tip is to include a stamped, self addressed envelope so the farmer can easily reply to you.

A simple thing like a busy farmer who wants to genuinely reply but can’t find an envelope or a stamp might be the difference between you hearing something or not.

I also plan to leave my mobile number and email address in the hope of a reply.

An extra thing to think about is to maybe include a print out of the fields surrounding the farm. The farmer may then be able to mark up what he owns and what he doesn’t.

You then post the letter and wait. I would say to leave it for two weeks. After that, if you’ve heard nothing, maybe drop in and ask as they may just not have had time to reply but are okay with the idea.

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DMD flyers & cards

Why not design, print out and laminate some business cards and flyers so you can hand out when talking to people or even place in local shops.

These cards and flyers can be your window to exposure advertising your services and how responsible you are.

Maybe even advertise as a lost jewellery recovery service.

This is exactly what I have produced and plan to hand these out and put the flyers in prominent places.

I may also post some through farmers doors.

It does actually give me an excuse if I do bump into a farmer whilst attempting to post the flyer through their door.

It just might get us chatting to see if they would be okay for detecting!

Give it a try… might be lucky!

Final thoughts

Okay, we’ve concluded that gaining a search permission can be an awkward and daunting thing. Try family, friends and work colleagues first to see if they know anyone with land.

Try local people in the know like posties or local shop owners. Check out farms so see if they have any signs outside advertising potatoes or eggs. This gives you an opportunity to strike up a conversation.

Even if you purchase a few times to get your face recognised and then ask! The final way is writing a letter. Make sure it’s hand written and sincere explaining what you can offer and your credentials.

Don’t forget to include a stamped, self addressed envelope for the farmer to reply. It’s tough but keep going. You may get many rejections but sometimes that one permission will supply you with land for years.

Once one permission has been found, it will get easier approaching other farmers if they know you’re trusted by another farmer.

If you are just starting out, read my article especially on metal detecting for beginners here!

Good luck and happy hunting!

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