Finding buried treasure in woodlands through metal detection

Finding buried treasure in woodlands through metal detection

As a new and enthusiastic detectorist I needed to find sites to detect on.  I quickly found out that all the fields and woodlands in the UK belong to someone and you need their authority to detect on their land so I started contacting landowners.  When I asked Woodlands.co.uk if it was possible to have permission to detect in their woods I was surprised and excited to get a reply saying that there was a wood near where I live and that permission would probably be given.  I was overjoyed.  So, one fine morning I met up with Daniel Sharp and his dog - itself a detector of sorts - in the woods where I wanted to do my metal detecting.  After a short tour of the woodlands, Daniel explained the philosophy of www.woodlands.co.uk and the benefts of owning a wood of your own.

I returned home and couldn't wait to start detecting in this new woodland location. One beautiful autumnal morning I loaded my car with my equipment and set off for the short journey to my new site.  Having parked my car at the end if the lane leading to the wood, I did the ten-minute walk along the country lane to reach the land.  It was a lovely walk, peaceful and still. A rabbit ran across my path and scurried into the rich undergrowth. A few minutes later a cock pheasant took flight just ahead of me.

metal detectorArriving at the gate to the wood, I excitedly prepared all my detecting equipment,which includes my Minelab Quattro and Garrett Probe, ready for my new adventure. What might I discover?  Who has been here before me? Did the Saxons or the Romans pass through these trees? All these thought entered my mind. The woods were serene and peaceful, the only noise was the birds singing in the trees and the gentle rustling of the leaves. It was idyllic, I can now totally see why people would buy and own their own wood. After a few hours which whizzed by, it was already time to head home. My finds of that day were two brass casings from a .22 rifle and six old shotgun cartridge cases - not too exciting but I really enjoyed my time in the woods.  Just me, my detector and nature. Next time I might have more luck and find a Saxon hoard, you never know.  Many thanks to Daniel for giving me the opportunity to detect in the wood and hopefully he will offer me other woods where I can pursue my metal detecting hobby.


There are three elements required for successful detecting. Research, legality and luck. (And a good back to dig all those holes). You can never tell where something will turn up. On the face of it woods seem unlikely, but who knows where a merchant chose to hide his fortune secretly in troubled times? I’d certainly chose a wood. I have a good detector, a wood, a fab coin collection, and made a famous find. None of those are connected. I hardly ever use the detector (after three years, I’ve never run it over my wood !) The coins were all bought from dealers and are exceptional examples of early pennies, and the spectacular find was sitting in plain view in a garden, a stone marking a cats grave which turned out to be one of the finest Saxon sculptures ever found. I sold it for £200,000. Happy digging.


2 March, 2015

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