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Old 12-07-2017, 06:12 AM
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Default Asking for permission from local council to metal detect at historical sites?

I recently spoke to a lady on the train about metal detecting (as I was on my way to a hunt), and she told me her husband once asked the employees at an old homestead, if he could detect at the homestead, to which they said 'no' (simple answer, right?). However, the homestead is owned by the local government, so the employees don't really have much control over the property

There are quite a few old historical sites in my council which I would like to detect, and I know I can't just walk onto the site and start detecting (they'll probably say no, like above). So, I figured, maybe I could ask for permission from the council to detect at these sites, with the condition that they may display any of my finds from these sites in their local museum (sounds fair to me, I get the joy of digging up artefacts, and they get to preserve the artefacts in their museum).

Now, I'm not sure if it's a good idea to ask (I mean, I've got nothing to lose, but still, I don't want to create too much attention on the hobby), and I have no idea how to write/formulate such an email. I would appreciate some of your ideas/tips/suggestion, thanks

Btw, I would like to add that in the mid 1990's, it was suggested in a council meeting to implement a law that would prohibit metal detecting at historical sites. I couldn't find if a law was actually created, but given that they considered making one, suggests that perhaps people have already hunted some of these sites. Then again, I'm not sure how the metal detectors from the 1990's compare to today's detectors.

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Old 12-07-2017, 06:54 AM
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Seems like a good approach. If theyíre truly about the history then having someone expose the relics should seem like a service. Itís sad that most people, that Iíve approached for permission, have had the mentality of, I want it for myself If I ever decide to dig it up. Which they wont

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Old 12-07-2017, 08:22 AM
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You say that the sites are government owned. Right ? And then in your last paragraph, you seem to say that there's no law that says "no md'ing". Right ? Then are these lived-in homes ? Or just empty buildings of some sort ?

If they're lived-in-homes, then sure, you should get permission. But if they're not lived-in type homes, and they're public , and there's no "no md'ing rule", then ....
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
You say that the sites are government owned. Right ? And then in your last paragraph, you seem to say that there's no law that says "no md'ing". Right ? Then are these lived-in homes ? Or just empty buildings of some sort ?

If they're lived-in-homes, then sure, you should get permission. But if they're not lived-in type homes, and they're public , and there's no "no md'ing rule", then ....
Empty buildings, they're fenced off so you can't just walk onto the property and and for some, you have to pay entry (they're basically tourist attractions).

Edit: They are also protected under some sort of heritage act so you're not allowed to remove artefacts without consent

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2017 totals: $1401.68AUD (506x$2, 258x$1, 71x50c, 201x20c, 315x10c, 396x5c, 138x2c, 192x1c) and 82 foreign, collectable or older Australian/English (pre-decimal) coins.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:14 AM
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Thats a sticky wicket there XT...something to think about and plan and find the right person to give you the Go would be a challenge with little hope of success...Why do you feel compelled to bother busy beaurucrats with this complicated decision?...

Just do it! If captured, say you cant read good on account of the deplorable school system! Act like a Booboo, Probably just get told to 'bugger off' or whatever they say in the land of Oz...? Or else bow up and tell some nosy nelly your boss man sent you out here looking for the Pintle Pin that got slung off the Bushhog? Or the curbstop key? Or you are the district King Brown abatement specialist, and we have a tagged one pinging in here abouts...Or any old thing like that?

I dont know why you would want to hunt and offer to give up relics anyway?..You live in Australia! A place founded by Penal Colony Criminals! Wheres your appreciation of your heritage! Besides, you should be spending your time out there looking for the OTHER 'Hand Of God' nugget! Or knocking down clad and s'more totter jewelry!

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Old 12-07-2017, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by X-Terra70 View post
Empty buildings, they're fenced off so you can't just walk onto the property and and for some, you have to pay entry (they're basically tourist attractions).

Edit: They are also protected under some sort of heritage act so you're not allowed to remove artefacts without consent

As for the "heritage act", another phrase for laws like this is "cultural heritage". And they exist about anywhere you step foot. Probably at every single park on any level (city, county, state, etc...) in some form or fashion. Yet as you've probably noticed, there's no shortage of md'rs who find old coins at parks and beaches, etc....

If the spot is an obvious historic sensitive monument, then: yes, I would not throw caution to the wind. But on the other hand, if such boiler plate verbiage is to be taken literally, then you can probably talk yourself out of ever md'ing on any public land, anywhere.

As for the "fence", that's a different story. You're talking about a true "fence", and not just some picket fence for decorative exterior? And no time when the ground are open for the public to walk around ? Then yes, you got a problem to overcome.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Mud-puppy View post
...Just do it! ....
Mud-puppy, didn't your dad loose his boyscout ring when he was a kid there ? It's your duty to go look for it now. Heck: Run a CL "lost" ad lamenting a lost ring at the location. Print out the ad, and show to any nosy-parkers.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
Mud-puppy, didn't your dad loose his boyscout ring when he was a kid there ? It's your duty to go look for it now. Heck: Run a CL "lost" ad lamenting a lost ring at the location. Print out the ad, and show to any nosy-parkers.
Thats what I dont get about the whole dynamic about permissions/trespassing questions asked within this Sport!....It just dont make any sense! WE are Pirates and Treasure hunters! Did Francisco Pizarro ask the Incas permission? Did the Pilgrims ask anybody if they could camp out? Did any of the 49'ers ask somebody if it was OK wander around and dig for gold?? Did Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan get a written OK from anybody?! NO!

The concept of property ownership and boundary infringement throughout the Ages has always been a loose and fluid kind of deal....'Stronger hand prevails' kind of situation...Hell, I have had people camping out on my river front property without asking! Its posted for liability formalities, but Do I care? Not in the slightest! Its a temporary situation and a great pull off place that should be enjoyed by all and has been for Time immemorable...

Oh! BAD! "You will ruin the reputation of the Sport!" As If! Only if I get seen or caught maybe!! Which I wont...But Who cares? I dont have long to tread around on this Planet, and by damn, no pencil pusher can tell me where I can go and what I can do! My rights as a free roaming subsistence hunter are 'Grandfathered In' so to speak...(Within reason, results may vary)

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Old 12-07-2017, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by X-Terra70 View post
Empty buildings, they're fenced off so you can't just walk onto the property and and for some, you have to pay entry (they're basically tourist attractions).

Edit: They are also protected under some sort of heritage act so you're not allowed to remove artefacts without consent

If they are fenced off they don't want you in there... I have hunted historical sites but I asked permission to do so and was granted that permission.

Read #4 in the first post in this thread about Australian Metal Detecting Guidelines.

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com...pic.php?id=319

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Old 12-07-2017, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for everyones' replies, and for that link Cfmct. Tom, those fences are proper fences, 7ft high and with barbed wire on top, so not decorative. Only way to get in, is either to pay entry and then hope you don't get kicked out, or to ask for permission to hunt the properties. And I think by offering to donate significant finds to the council's museum, they would more likely say yes (as they'll also benefit from me hunting the property)

So, any ideas on what I should/shouldn't include in the email (of course I won't say I'll be digging up their property!)

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Oldest Coin: 1877 English Penny
2017 totals: $1401.68AUD (506x$2, 258x$1, 71x50c, 201x20c, 315x10c, 396x5c, 138x2c, 192x1c) and 82 foreign, collectable or older Australian/English (pre-decimal) coins.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by X-Terra70 View post
Thanks for everyones' replies, and for that link Cfmct. Tom, those fences are proper fences, 7ft high and with barbed wire on top, so not decorative. Only way to get in, is either to pay entry and then hope you don't get kicked out, or to ask for permission to hunt the properties. And I think by offering to donate significant finds to the council's museum, they would more likely say yes (as they'll also benefit from me hunting the property)

So, any ideas on what I should/shouldn't include in the email (of course I won't say I'll be digging up their property!)
Well, that's painting a picture of something that needs permission.

My advice is to get involved in local historical society. Volunteer to docent your time. Attend meetings, etc... THEN you will find permissions to be much more forthcoming.

But be forewarned: Sometimes the caliber/mindset of people in historical societies and museums are "archie" minded folk. Who might *bristle* at the mention of metal detectors. But if you're a docent and volunteer , you can feel out those situations ahead of time.

I docent at 2 different museums, and it has opened up many doors for me.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
Well, that's painting a picture of something that needs permission.

My advice is to get involved in local historical society. Volunteer to docent your time. Attend meetings, etc... THEN you will find permissions to be much more forthcoming.

But be forewarned: Sometimes the caliber/mindset of people in historical societies and museums are "archie" minded folk. Who might *bristle* at the mention of metal detectors. But if you're a docent and volunteer , you can feel out those situations ahead of time.

I docent at 2 different museums, and it has opened up many doors for me.
Good idea. Just did some research on our local historical society and found out that the secretary is actually the owner of another homestead in my council (which I forgot existed), which I recon is good. She seems like a nice lady, and has lived all our her life in our council (for 87 years), so even if she doesn't want me detecting at her homestead, she could still tell me about some older places. Sounds like a plan to me.

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Oldest Coin: 1877 English Penny
2017 totals: $1401.68AUD (506x$2, 258x$1, 71x50c, 201x20c, 315x10c, 396x5c, 138x2c, 192x1c) and 82 foreign, collectable or older Australian/English (pre-decimal) coins.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mud-puppy View post
Thats a sticky wicket there XT...something to think about and plan and find the right person to give you the Go would be a challenge with little hope of success...Why do you feel compelled to bother busy beaurucrats with this complicated decision?...

Just do it! If captured, say you cant read good on account of the deplorable school system! Act like a Booboo, Probably just get told to 'bugger off' or whatever they say in the land of Oz...? Or else bow up and tell some nosy nelly your boss man sent you out here looking for the Pintle Pin that got slung off the Bushhog? Or the curbstop key? Or you are the district King Brown abatement specialist, and we have a tagged one pinging in here abouts...Or any old thing like that?

I dont know why you would want to hunt and offer to give up relics anyway?..You live in Australia! A place founded by Penal Colony Criminals! Wheres your appreciation of your heritage! Besides, you should be spending your time out there looking for the OTHER 'Hand Of God' nugget! Or knocking down clad and s'more totter jewelry!
Buy a invisibility cloak: sometimes called high-vis tabard , people will think you're a council worker. (personally, I wouldn't dig a heritage sight unless had a face-to face meeting and written consent).


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Old 12-07-2017, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
Mud-puppy, didn't your dad loose his boyscout ring when he was a kid there ? It's your duty to go look for it now. Heck: Run a CL "lost" ad lamenting a lost ring at the location. Print out the ad, and show to any nosy-parkers.
Ancient Chinese saying "it is easier to seek forgiveness than seek permission".


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Old 12-08-2017, 01:58 AM
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I've written a draft email, please let me know if I've missed anything, or if I should change something, thanks

RE Subject: Recovery and Preservation of Artefact on Historic Sites

Dear XXXXX XXXXX

Good morning, Iím Philipp XXXXX and I have lived in the (Council Name) for over 13 years. Iíve been involved in the hobby of metal detecting for about ten years now, and enjoy recovering and preserving historical artefacts such as medallions, coins, old jewellery or buttons.

I am aware that there are numerous sites of historical significance within the XXXXX council, such as XXXXXX, or XXXX and XXXX house, and I would therefore kindly ask for your permission to allow me to metal detect around such historical sites.

I would be more than happy to donate any significant, or finds relevant to the site, to the XXXXX museum, or to XXXXX or XXXX house, so that these artefacts can be restored and preserved to allow future generations to appreciate the history of the council.

Iím looking forward to hearing from you,

Kind regards,

Philipp L.
<Phone Number Here>

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Oldest Coin: 1877 English Penny
2017 totals: $1401.68AUD (506x$2, 258x$1, 71x50c, 201x20c, 315x10c, 396x5c, 138x2c, 192x1c) and 82 foreign, collectable or older Australian/English (pre-decimal) coins.
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:54 AM
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x-terra70, since this fence (to public land mind-you) seems unbreachable any other way, I'd say you did a very good job at phrasing that request.

However, I would not mail it. Much better to bump into them in person, with a big smile. Like when the location has open hours to the public. Or at one of their heritage site meetings. While you casually regale them with your knowledge of the history. After chit-chat, hand it to them personally.

Because, otherwise, if you mail it, then all-too-often, people treat such things as junk mail solicitations. So whenever asking permission, I always try to do it in person. Not a cold call or email or letter.
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:54 AM
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Nice layout, succinct, no grammatical errors...A+++!

Maybe put in there you are an active Member in good standing of the FMDF as well as an honorary member of the DMDC? Perhaps include a picture of yourself with your gear so they know you aint a wierdo?
Maybe say you are a Student? Interested in the districts history and all things outdoorsy? A good Honest Bloke who should be encouraged and given a pass...Those are all true right?

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Old 12-08-2017, 08:56 AM
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Good luck it's worth a try, but! I might add that ALL sites deemed "historical" are protected by Federal laws and makes no difference if there is or isn't a local state/city law. You can always plead ignorant if a federal ranger shows up but I'm not sure how far that will get you.

Generally you can get away with hunting these places as long as you get local permission. Just be aware there are Federal laws.

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Old 12-08-2017, 09:31 AM
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Face to face...really the best way for gaining permissions of any sort...Especially if you can get a well regarded and familiar somebody that has some 'Trust through Transference' to kick the doors down with the right people, thats really the way to go...find yourself a local highly regarded Patron who will vouch for you and lend you their hard earned Trust through Transference if you can...

Just like trapping a big section as I used to do, you get the right Rancher to vouch for you, and everyone in his 'circle of influence' will grant you access...

No big secret... Basically just being a good happy and helpful guy with a love for Life and being outdoors finding interesting things...People like that, you are a curiosity that adds adventure to their life through yours and not just another taker......

You gotta ask though...get the right people involved and state your case honestly and passionately....face to face...Its very cool you are doing this..a great and important Life Lesson...You will make some great friends and who knows where this will lead for you? You will hear some awesome stories from the Community Elders if you take the time to listen...I know you will..you are that kind of person XT...

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Old 12-08-2017, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by X-Terra70 View post
Thanks for everyones' replies, and for that link Cfmct. Tom, those fences are proper fences, 7ft high and with barbed wire on top, so not decorative. Only way to get in, is either to pay entry and then hope you don't get kicked out, or to ask for permission to hunt the properties. And I think by offering to donate significant finds to the council's museum, they would more likely say yes (as they'll also benefit from me hunting the property)

So, any ideas on what I should/shouldn't include in the email (of course I won't say I'll be digging up their property!)
How much is the paid admission? Just pay it and start detecting. If they kick you out demand your money back.
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