All land is owned by somebody and it is recommended that permission to detect is obtained in writing from the Landowner. Should permission be instead obtained from a tenant, note that problems might ensue re ownership and permissions should Treasure subsequently be discovered.
Beaches (You do not have automatic permission to detect, just over half of the UK's coast is owned by the Crown and the other half is in private ownership. Technically you have rights of access to the beach, but not to search. The Crown Estate own everything between mean high and mean low tide. Above high water will be in private ownership. They also lease the coast line to third parties and can advise who currently has the rights. The Crown Estate will give you details of the people responsible for the different stretches of the coast line).
Common Land (Permission to detect required from landowners)
http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countr ... /index.htm
http://www.defra.gov.uk/Science/Genetic ... ommons.asp
http://www.openaccess.gov.uk/S4/Section ... 500,451500#
Countryside Stewardship Agreement Land
From the Defra HLS Handbook, Section 7, page 54:
Do not carry out or permit metal detecting on the archaeological sites on your holding identified in your Farm Environment Plan, unless agreed with your RDS adviser in writing.
On Scheduled Monuments, a licence is required from English Heritage before metal detecting can take place. Detecting without such a licence is an offence.
On SSSIs, where actions resulting from metal detecting (e.g. digging or vegetation disturbance) are listed as 'operations likely to damage the special interest' of your SSSI, you are required to give written notice to English Nature of these operations and can only proceed once you have received written consent.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/erdp/pdfs/es/els-handbook.pdf (CSS Entry Level Stewerdship Handbook)
http://www.defra.gov.uk/erdp/pdfs/es/hls-handbook.pdf (CSS Higher Level Stewerdship Handbook)
Farms (Permission to detect required from landowners)
http://www.forumukdetectornet.co.uk/php ... hp?t=23635 (Request permission to detect forms)
http://www.forumukdetectornet.co.uk/php ... hp?t=31575 (Landowner/Detectorist agreement forms)
http://www.yell.com/ucs/HomePageAction.do (List of Farms near you)
http://www.landregisteronline.gov.uk/ (Land Registry Online for Farm Ownership Details)
http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/assets/l ... rpg051.pdf
http://www.whoownsscotland.org.uk/page_ ... engine.htm (Scottish Farm/Land ownership)
Parks (Permission to detect required from Local Council)
http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/ ... al%20parks
(List of your Local Parks and Council contact details)
Footpaths, Bridleways and Public Rights of Way ((Surface of the path is for most purposes considered to belong to the Highway Authority ie the County or Borough Council or Unitary Authority)
http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/britain ... thlaw.html
Ministry of Defence - MOD (use of metal detectors is prohibited)
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/About ... ecreation/
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/About ... ctions.htm
National Trust (use of metal detectors is generally not permitted unless under exceptional circumstances and only ever under a licence agreement)
http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:LJ3 ... licy-2.doc
Nature Reserves (National Nature Reserves, Local Nature Reserves and Spotlight National Nature Reserves)
Statement outstanding re use of metal detectors
http://www.natureonthemap.org.uk/map.aspx?map=nreserves (Natural England map showing Nature Reserves)
River and Canal Beds
River bed ownership - Non tidal watercourses the general presumption is the adjoining landowner owms the bed up to the middle of the watercourse.
River bed ownership - Tidal watercourses the presumption is that the bed of all rivers where tide flows and re flows vests in the crown.
http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:xv ... clnk&cd=10
Thames river bed ownership
Canal bed ownership - Canals are artificial structures built on land bought by the companies that built them. Therefore the ownership of the bed of the canal (and towpath) is separate from that of the adjoining dry land on either side.
http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:6o ... clnk&cd=20
Note that if the river is part of an SSSI the river bed should be treated as such.
Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAM’s) (It is an offence to use a metal detector on a Scheduled site without the written agreement of the Secretary of State or English Heritage)
These Monuments and areas are of national importance and are protected areas. It is advisable to keep well away from Scheduled Monuments, not only to stay within the law, but to avoid archaeological remains which may extend beyond the legally protected area. (An exclusion zone around monuments is gradually being introduced)
http://www.pastscape.org/homepage/textpage.asp (English Heritage Pastcape - some listed Scheduled sites)
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/search/index.cfm (Archaeology Data Service - some listed Scheduled sites)
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s)
There are over 4,000 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in England, covering around 7% of the country's land area. These are usually conservation areas which have been set up to protect wildlife and plant life. It is illegal to use a metal detector within these areas without written permission from English Heritage or English Nature.
http://www.english-nature.org.ik/special/sssi/ (Introduction to SSSI’s)
http://www.english-nature.org.ik/specia ... ection.cfm (Protecting SSSI’s)
SSSI’s and SAM’s near you - Map
http://www.magic.gov.uk/website/magic/v ... le=6532504 (Map showing SAM’s & SSSI’s)
Zoom in to see SAM’s and SSSI’s, also click on the 'i' for info icon below the search option and click on the SAM or SSI and further info may be available. Note that Magic Map does not necessarily show all SAM’s and does not cover Wales and Scotland.
http://www.english-nature.org.uk/specia ... search.cfm (English Nature Maps showing SSSI details)
http://www.natureonthemap.org.uk/map.aspx?map=sssi (Natural England map showing SSSI details)
Thames Foreshore (Restrictions apply to Location, depth of digging and if member of Society of Thames Mudlarks - see Permit pdf below)
http://www.ncmd.co.uk/docs/pla%20permit.pdf (Permit to search Thames Foreshore)
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