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Scheduled Monuments

Metal detecting

In this guide

1. About metal detecting

In general, metal detecting is not a suitable technique to use on scheduled monuments. This is because it can cause significant damage by digging through archaeological evidence to extract finds and removes those finds from their archaeological context. All finds associated with a scheduled monument contribute directly to its evidential value. Removal will therefore impact directly on the significance of the monument.

For this reason, it is an offence to use metal detectors on scheduled monuments without prior written consent from Cadw.  This applies to both terrestrial and underwater metal detecting.

Metal detectorists must ask the permission of the landowner before using a metal detector on their property. Metal detectorists adopting best practice will avoid legally protected sites and activities that could damage sensitive places. If someone asks you for permission to use a metal detector on your scheduled monument, you should inform them that the site is scheduled and that they need consent from Cadw. If you find someone using a metal detector on your scheduled monument without your permission, you should contact the police and Cadw.

You will need to apply to Cadw for a section 42 consent to use a metal detector on a scheduled monument.