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 Post subject: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:21 am 
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Hi all,

I've been waiting for an opportunity to write this for a while; it has taken one of my kids to be ill to get time at home to do some admin!

I was horrified to turn up to one of my all time favourite sites last week to discover mountains and mountains of green waste ready to be spread. I have detected this farm for a good few years when available and finds have spanned all ages but predominantly Roman; I got on really well with the farmer - we did chat about green waste as some of the neighbouring farms had received it and I showed him a bag full of the 'compost' which he was genuinely shocked at and said he wouldn't have it despite hearing good things about the price, nitrogen content. However the composting facility was located alarmingly close to us and more and more of the fields have succumbed not helped by the fact that the owner has made so much money he is paying top dollar to rent and buy fields up and so continue the cycle.... :g51:

Sadly the farmer passed away a couple of years ago and the farm was taken over by his sons who, although were fine about me continuing to detect, the relationship with them was never the same; I'd always txt to let them know I was about but never got a reply, no more nice long chats, not interested in finds etc...roll on a few years and here we are....

I know for me this is a hobby and for the farmer/land owner it is a business and so actually what right have I to complain or even write this but it just cannot be morally right to spread and plough in such rubbish across the fields. Another farmer who we deal with at our club says he's heard of pigs rooting around and ingesting 'compost' which has shredded their guts so had to be put down - he was about to invest in the 'compost' but declined at the last minute.

Anyway last summer I spoke to a parish councillor about it who I meet when I'm out and he's walking his dogs, out of allegiance to me for all I'd done in the community he felt strongly enough to write an article in our parish magazine cunningly entitled "You can never have too many teaspoons", he also said he'd write a similar letter to our MP. I've copied the article for you below - I've taken out our village name and his name ok:

You can never have too many teaspoons!

At the recent exhibition and community engagement day in North Glos I spoke to a metal detectorist who is a great source of research information about the history of the local landscape. Working with landowners’ permission, he discovers our lost past. From pre-Roman to the 21st Century he catalogues and displays the found artefacts and fragments whilst explaining to visitors of all ages the nature of his discoveries around the local area. He reports finds to the museum, and is a major source of new information about local history.
His parting comment, after a fascinating history lesson, was that some fields no longer have a story to tell to those metal detectors.

The compost by-product of anaerobic digesters is now a regular deposit on some farm land, and is ploughed in as a fertiliser to improve cultivation. Indeed, crops such as maize are also grown to feed these digesters, along with farm slurry, green waste and food waste. This mix is fermented to produce gas which is used to generate electricity. The composted waste is then available as a fertiliser. And, of course, there are government subsidies for this sort of thing. It sounds too good to be true! Is there a downside?

These lorry loads of “compost” are contaminated with metal, from the composted kitchen waste. Spoons, kitchen utensils, metal foil and drink cans are just a few of the items that are spread across the land. These metals fragments obliterate the signals from significant historical lost artefacts. No longer does a detectorist pick up a discrete signal from an old harness medallion, Roman coin or earlier brooch. There is a mass of competing, and irrelevant metal junk!

Keep your eyes open as you walk through cultivated fields, and look out for the evidence of composted waste. Shredded black polythene “poo” bags, green biodegradable kitchen waste bags, and aluminium ring pulls and bits of cans. I have found cutlery, chef’s overalls and chicken bones. Until this conversation, I assumed the bits I found were the exception, but now I look more closely the evidence is scattered all around us! What a great shame if the archaeological layer left by early 21st Century civilisation is teaspoons and torn cling film.

We are in danger of losing our heritage landscapes, not only to the intensification of farming but also to this pollution from thoughtlessly discarded rubbish. We are seeing pastures converted to arable and scattered with the debris of a society evermore demanding of electricity. If you find a teaspoon please pick it up!

A. N. Other.

Believe me I have tried to detect on fields after it has been spread. After one year it's tolerable - just; but after successive years it becomes intolerable - especially as I have a few hours once a week to enjoy my hobby I have to chose uncontaminated fields to concentrate my efforts on; it may be do-able if I had the patience and time - perhaps a week or so to get through/clear the waste but the enjoyment factor would be gone.

Anyway, here are a few piccies of the fields I detect on soon to be put out of bounds.


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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:43 am 
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...forgot to add..

..and I'm genuinely worried that in 20 years time a lot of the 'compost' will have broken down and started leeching all sorts of chemicals into the soil that crops will grow from, animals will graze i.e. enters the food chain, who knows but be interesting to see a study of carcinogenic rates where this stuff has been spread...A


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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:01 pm 
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Truly awful mess. I think that this 'compost' is seriously going to be a long standing health hazard and also a big threat to our hobby.
Am i right in assuming that this stuff is from the food waste collection from the council? If so, then this is a national problem that will need to be highlighted by our national detecting bodies.



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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:03 pm 
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Its disgusting, not just for the fact it obscures and taints the history of the land for ever. But to actually use that mess with plastic and metal. I don't know how they get away with polluting the land in that way.



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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:42 pm 
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Fantastic write up A! :g58:
This is something very close to all our detectorists hearts and all something I'm sure we have experienced one way or another. It is a genuine threat to our hobby, combined with huge historical areas being built on for either housing or solar panels/wind turbines....
I fear for the upcoming generations to the hobby too, as they will be set with an almost impossible task. I suppose we should be thankful for the countless coins and artifacts we have saved and contributed..
:g48:
PS - hope your kid is on the mend soon! :g50:


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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:43 pm 
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GREAT WRITE UP by your Parish Councillor. Please thank him for all of us. :g30:

I HATE green waste and cannot believe England allows this horrible stuff to be scattered on it's beautiful fields. :g10: I am from the US and metal detect in England with my husband usually once a year. This waste stinks terribly and of course ruins the fields as far as metal detecting is concerned. England grows so many wonderful root vegetables such as beets and potatoes. I am sure it is only a matter of time before someone bites into a parsnip or potato and ends up being cut by a sharp piece of metal!!! Maybe then it will stop, but I doubt it. There is too much money involved. I really wish there was some way to put an end to this terrible practice. :g46:



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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:25 pm 
Think that there is an app where you can anonymously go behind your farmers back and report him!
Also lets not forget that by removing all the modern rubbish ... we are trashing our hobby for those detectorists yet to come. I find it ironic that modern finds are often put into the trash bucket as worthless ... worthless today ... but not in 1000 years time.
By cleaning the land of every bit of modern scrap we are ruining our hobby for generations yet to come.
As responsible detectorists maybe we should have a law which states that we can only remove items over 300 years old .... just a thought! Also ironic that PAS are not interested in recording modern finds.


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:58 pm 
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From talking to PAS staff, I wouldn't say that they're 'not interested in recording modern finds' - they'd love to but don't have the capacity/funding to be able to.


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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:25 pm 
It would have been of benefit had arfrage actually got some metal green waste metal contaminants in his shot, sadly last months UKDN article on green waste showed a picture of supposed Green waste which was blatantly not green waste... another self inflicted shot in the foot for us all. Can do better!


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:30 pm 
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The thing is we all have MP's who we elect and few if any of us approach our MP's to raise this issue, the technology exists to remove the metal and plastic from the waste but it costs money so the producers of Green waste wont invest in it unless they are forced to by tighter legislation, I spoke with a Farmer who reckons yields are falling and inside a decade we will be struggling to maintain current levels of production as the benefits of Green waste are being over sold and it is not as good for the soil as DEFRA and the Environment Agency are telling farmers, but when they are being paid to spread it then it will continue to blight our fields and water courses which is where the chemicals end up, by the time the authorities acknowledge the problems being caused we will of lost our hobby, if you pester your MP then he has to ask questions the Green waste producers have a trade organisation blowing smoke up DEFRA, the Environment Agency and our MP's backsides, we need as a hobby to make them all aware the current situation is damaging our countryside and is creating a chemical time bomb


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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:05 pm 
In order to get any action, one must have hard evidence. The conclusion of individual farmers and supposition on the part of others will count for nothing without facts.
I have heard alot about GW being the cause of environmental pollution, and while it is possible there is a detrimental effect, without rigorous evidence collected in the field showing a direct link to adverse effects on human health I doubt if anyone will take notice.
So what can be done? and the answer is to get scientific evidence that the food chain is being damaged. Rather than individual detectorists approaching MP's, it would make more sense for our Hobby leaders to engage with the NFU, DEFRA, and the Department of the Environment (whose number one priority is " a cleaner, healthier environment, benefiting people and the economy"), with view to sponsoring a scientific project designed to establish the facts. This may mean that we all have to pay a one-off fee with our NCMD/FID subs... but it will be money well spent.
Soil analysis is already a very important part of modern farming, and I am sure that the farming industry leaders would be ready to support moves designed to show that their practices continue to be safe, and in the event that any short comings are found to take appropriate action.


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:41 pm 
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If you want to do something positive about it, try co-operating with this project
http://ceg-research.ncl.ac.uk/greenwasteproject/


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 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:54 pm 
Is this where you anonymously report your farmer... behind their backs ... so to speak.
I dont like the idea of sneaking around my permissions taking snaps of coke cans and uploading them with the name of the farm, if the farmer caught me I would expect to be thrown off the land, and rightly so.


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:43 pm 
I wonder if anyone has had the brainwave of speaking to the Soil Association about GW .. Just a thought!
https://www.soilassociation.org/


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Old favourite soon to be ruined forever!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:32 am 
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Quote:
Is this where you anonymously report your farmer... behind their backs ... so to speak.

Try reading it before you make your mind up.....


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