Metal Detecting – Gaining Permission

This article is about gaining permission to metal detect in the UK. Permission and insurance are essential things you need if you own a metal detector and plan to go detecting in the UK which is probably different in other countries but I’m in the UK so I’m going to cover the UK.

Farm fields


Metal detecting – gaining permission is about approaching the landowner and it must be the landowner not a tenant it has to be the person who legally owns the land. Most people approach farmers because farmers have lots of land. Now, there’s no easy way of doing this, there’s people that will tell you all different ways of getting permission but the simple fact of the matter is you have to go and knock on doors, be polite and be prepared to be told no, because there are a few farmers out there and I don’t understand why but they don’t want people on their land. At the end of the day, it is their land just be polite, and to be perfectly honest I found 99% of farmers have been friendly.



You can go on some beaches with a metal detector, but not all beaches because there could be sites with special scientific interest and they could also be privately owned, most of the beaches in the UK are owned by the Crown and if you go on the Crown Estate website you will see that the crown allows metal detecting on the foreshore off their beaches and obviously do your own research go online and find out what permission is required for that particular beach. A great detector for the beach by the way is the REFLEX-G6 which is stable on wet sand and deals well with high mineralisation.

Metal Detecting - Gaining Permission


All Land in the UK is owned, a lot of people do not realise this, but every single piece of land is owned either by the Crown, Privately, Local Authorities, City Council’s, or Town Councils. There is no such thing as public land in the UK there’s public access but that’s not public land so this basically means that things like parks, we have the right to go onto for recreation, but we don’t have the right to do anything else on that park and we certainly do not have the right to dig up holes and go metal detecting. It is a quick way to get yourself arrested and yes you can get arrested in the UK for metal detecting.

Private Property


Try the less obvious places and by that, I mean sometimes you will not get access to massive farms simply because people have already been knocked back, or, they have already given someone permission. So, what you want to do is go to the smaller farms, and Small-Holdings. Go to people that just have four or five acres, knock on the door, and say to them “hello, I’m Tim my hobby is metal detecting, would you be interested in letting me go on your fields?” They may say no but if the owner of that house is a history geek like us, they will say yes!

Beach UK


I highly recommend joining the National Council of Metal Detecting. Which includes public liability insurance, you pay something like eight pounds per year. It is unlikely you will need to make a claim but farmers like it that you are a responsible detectorist being a member of a government approved body like National Council of Metal Detecting.

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