u3a - Metal Detecting

Metal Detecting

Contact the advisor

Coronavirus Advice June 2020

The advice for Metal Detecting as we gradually move out of lockdown is changing according to passing various tests determined by government under advice by scientists. Then each devolved government in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is issuing guidance separately with differing rules. Therefore I think the safest way forward is for me to direct you to the National Council for Metal Detecting website for the latest official advice for each part of the UK. If you have any queries, please contact me.


Hello, my name is Sue Fletcher and I live in Skipton in North Yorkshire. I (along with my hubby Andrew) have been metal detecting since early 2018 and soon became hooked! After a year, we decided we would like to share this fascinating hobby with others and 'tested the waters' by emailing our local U3A members to gauge the level of interest. We launched our new group in June 2019 and are thoroughly enjoying ourselves!

Having recently been through this experience, I am happy to offer advice and support to help new groups get started. There are quite a few aspects to consider:

  • the legal framework (The Treasure Act),
  • The Code of Good Practise,
  • membership of National Bodies (e.g. National Council for Metal Detecting) - which includes third party insurance,
  • permissions to detect from landowners - and contracts for landowners to sign,
  • equipment - and the expense of acquiring,
  • level of fitness,
  • researching land before detecting (e.g. maps and online tools),
  • establishing a relationship with the Finds Liaison Officers ,
  • recording of finds on the Portable Antiquities Scheme,
  • cleaning and preserving finds and
  • links with History and Archaeological groups.

There are lots of ways to undertake research - the internet and especially YouTube is invaluable. There are several monthly issued Metal Detecting magazines which make fascinating reading (hard copy and online).

We have also established a private Facebook group to facilitate communication for our members.

If you have already set up a Metal Detecting Group and any members are in the Craven (North Yorkshire) area e.g. on holiday, please feel free to contact me with a view to joining us on a dig.