Isle of Man metal detectorists reminded to speak to landowners




  • In Science
  • 2022-10-30 10:02:32Z
  • By BBC

Treasure hunters on the Isle of Man must get permission from landowners, a metal detectorist has warned.

Mark Leadley has been a metal detectorist on the island for about 12 years, and has unearthed a number of coins, rings, broaches and pin badges.

Traditionally, treasure hunters venture out during the winter months, after the harvest season is over.

Mr Leadley said it was "very important" that people sought permission before setting out.

He said he became hooked to the metal detecting hobby after finding his first coin, which was a Queen Victoria penny from the 1860s, which was "so exciting".

Through perseverance he went on to find an array of other coins dating back further, many of which are featured in an exhibition currently on display at the Manx Museum in Douglas.

However, he warned that "a lot of the time all you'll find is rubbish".

"If you went out with the idea thinking, 'I'm going to go and find treasure', you'd be very disappointed. It's just finding interesting things, coins or artefacts."

He said despite the less than hospitable weather on the island during the winter months, metal detectorists were a "hardy bunch".

Mark Leadley
Mark Leadley  

The oldest piece he has found to date was a 1,000-year-old lead Viking gaming piece with a small green glass bead embedded into the top of it.

"It's not worth a lot of money, but it's just an interesting piece of history," he said.

"Every now and then you'll find something interesting, something old, and you're thinking 'yes', and that just keeps you going."

Rings
Rings  

But, he had a reminder for anyone thinking of taking up the hobby.

"Always just go and have a word with the farmer and ask for permission because you definitely need, it's against the law to detect without permission," he said.

Why not follow BBC Isle of Man on Facebook and Twitter? You can also send story ideas to IsleofMan@bbc.co.uk

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