Milton Keynes metal detecting club sees huge rise in popularity
ROYAUME-UNI – La prospection au détecteur de métaux connaît un véritable boum à Milton Keynes. Le club local – Magio Vinum – a enregistré une augmentation conséquente de ses membres ses huit derniers mois. La question : restera-t-il assez à trouver pour tout le monde ? C’est d’autant plus préoccupant que la pollution en débris métalliques rend impraticable certaines parcelles agricoles. Dans ce pays où la chasse au trésor est légale, les « détectoristes » n’ont pas besoin de se cacher derrière l’argument spécieux du nettoyage (que leurs homologues français appellent pompeusement dépollution). Ramasser les capsules, ce n’est pas pour eux. Ils n’indiqueront pas non plus les lieux de leurs découvertes. On ne sait jamais, si quelqu’un y retourne la nuit… Dans ce cas, ce serait du (vrai) pillage !
The popularity of metal detecting in Milton Keynes is on the rise, with a local club saying they have received 'a lot more applications for membership in the last eight months'.
Metal detecting has drawn some attention in the past year, with the likes of popular comedy Detectorists helping, and the prospect of finding treasure is also a big appeal to potential members.
The club, Magio Vinium – named after an old Roman settlement near Fenny Stratford – has seen a big rise in applications and are seeing youngsters interested in joining their metal detecting club.
Colin Ashcroft, the club's chairman, said: "We've seen a lot more applications for membership in the last eight months. I don't think that's particularly due to Detectorists – which is very funny by the way."
The club has around 30 members at any one time and has had a number of applications from people wishing to join – both old and young.
Members from the club go out together with their detectors – which cost between £150 and £2,000 – on farmland and pay £100 each time plus, if a member finds anything that is later declared as treasure, they would split any money with the farmer.
But the club have found problems on some farms due to green waste being used a type of compost and getting into the soil. The detectors have found bottle tops, batteries, beer cans and more in the soil.
"But then of course you don't know what it is when your detector is going off so you have to dig it up because it might be something good," long-serving member Mick Billingham explained.
"It's a shame because there's some farmland where we've just had to say we can't use it anymore because of this green waste."
Mick has previously had some great finds from his detecting, with a gold Roman coin from 53BC being one that stands out.
"But I'm not going to tell you where I found it because then everyone will be down there," he said.
There are also important heritage reasons for keeping the locations close their chest, with the threat of 'night hawkers' – people who go out at detecting at night without paying fees or declaring treasure they find – means museums could miss out on historical items.
When the members find something they have it examined by a liaison officer who will then pass it on to a coroner for inspection if they think it may be valuable.
The coroner then decides if it's treasure and, if it is, will give a local museum the chance to purchase it for a price, which is then split between the landowner and the person who found it.