If you are a Metal Detectorist

The current policy that the Archaeology Service adopts for Metal Detectorists in the North East of Scotland is as follows:

Roman Bird

  • no metal detecting on any council owned land or property
  • no metal detecting on or within 20m of any Scheduled Monument, under current legislation this is a criminal offence with an associated fine of up to £50,000 and/or a jail sentence
  • no metal detecting on known archaeological monuments, if you are unsure as to whether you are detecting on a known monument then please check on the Historic Environment Record

Before metal detecting in any particular area, please ensure that you have obtained the landowner's permission to metal detect in that area. The Archaeology Service does not retain land ownership information. 

Much of the foreshore is owned by the Crown Estate which does not require people to have a permit for metal detecting. However, some areas of foreshore may be owned by other landowners. In such instances, the landowner's consent will be required before detecting is permissible.

For more details on known sites that are present in an area which you plan to detect, which should be avoided, please use the Historic Environment Record to search for information.

Any finds made should be reported to a museum, or ourselves (as detailed on our reporting your archaeology finds page), with a note of the grid reference as to where they were found (a national grid reference of 6 figures or more is preferable), as well as to the Treasure Trove Unit.

Nearly all finds in Scotland are subject to Treasure Trove Law. Unlike England, objects found in Scotland do not have to be made of precious metals in order to be claimed under the Law. Full details on the Law can be found on the Treasure Trove website.

Finds which are reported to the Treasure Trove Unit will be subject to assessment and identification, and then either be claimed as Treasure Trove and an appropriate award given to you as the finder, or they will be disclaimed and returned to you.