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Solent Metal Detecting Club

Where to detect

The Club has permission to search on a number of farms. Permission is for Sunday only for most farms.


You may prefer to search on beaches, in which case, to search on Crown Estate foreshore ( about half the coastline ) you will need a permit from the Crown Estate. This is easy to obtain and at the moment is free. A permit for one year can be obtained simply by going to the web site


You will need to fill in the form with your name and address and email address. You will then be emailed a permit similar to the one shown below. This is valid for one year, at the end of which you will need to re-apply.




The Crown  Estate

Application reference: 094582

Valid from: Sunday, December 21, 2014


Expires: Monday, December 21, 2015



Permit for Metal Detecting on Crown Estate Foreshore


The holder of this permit has been granted consent by The Crown Estate to metal detect on Crown Estate foreshore.


Name: A Detectorist
Email address: finder@goldfetcher .com


Permission is granted to metal detect by foot as a recreational pursuit on Crown Estate foreshore, subject to any further consents that may be required.


The permit holder confirms that he/she has read and understood the terms and conditions which apply to metal detecting on Crown Estate foreshore, and undertakes to comply with them.


The terms and conditions are to be found at:




The Crown Estate generally seeks to encourage access over, and responsible use of, the foreshore and as a result Crown Estate consent for non-commercial metal detecting on the foreshore will not incur a charge. Foreshore in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is defined as the land between mean high water and mean low water. In Scotland the definition is between mean high water of spring tides and mean low water of spring tides.


Note - this permit does not apply to searching below the foreshore, i.e. on seabed for which a separate consent may be required. Please direct any enquiries over seabed searching to: enquiries@thecrownestate.co.uk




1.The permission hereby granted extends only to the foreshore only and not to any part of the bed of the sea.

2.This permission shall remain in force for a period of twelve months, subject to the rights of termination provided. Crown Estate ownership or control may be transferred to a third party so you should check the Crown Estate ownership maps on a regular basis and at a minimum every six months. The applicant may reapply for a further consent upon expiry of the 12 month period.

 3.You are permitted to carry out searches on the foreshore as described above only on the following basis: (i) .You may use a metal detector for such purpose; (ii) You may only investigate the surface of the foreshore and not excavate into the hard pack sub-surface of the foreshore to ensure that the archaeological integrity of any embedded find is retained; (iii) No mechanical tool, plant or equipment may be used for excavation; (iv) Any hole (however small or shallow) must be refilled so that the foreshore is reinstated to its condition before digging or excavation was commenced by the applicant so as not to create a hazard to other foreshore users.

4.You are required: (i) To report all archaeological finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and follow the "Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales" at all times. (ii) To report the find of any item which may or which on reasonable grounds is likely to be treasure within the meaning of the Treasure Act 1996 to the Coroner's Court for the district in which the foreshore is situated (or if in Scotland to the nearest police station) within fourteen days of the date of the find and to supply evidence to The Crown Estate that this has been undertaken. Any reward to be paid pursuant to the Treasure Act 1996 shall be determined by the appropriate authority. Apportionment will be agreed between the finder and The Crown Estate but generally this will be in equal shares. (iii) To report the find of any item of value such as jewellery and coins (excluding individual or small quantities of modern coins) to The Crown Estate and the Police within fourteen days of the date of the find. The value of such a find will be determined by agreement between the applicant and The Crown Estate or by valuation by at least two other persons selected by The Crown Estate and the applicant, or by sale for the highest available price. Any monies received shall be divided equally between The Crown Estate and the applicant (after the deduction of any costs). (iv) To report the find of any item of value in Northern Ireland to The Crown Estate and the Police and the Director of the Ulster Museum within fourteen days of the date of the find. Such find to be treated under the provisions of the Historic Monuments Act (Northern Ireland) 1971. (v) To report the find of any item which may or which on reasonable grounds is likely to be considered Wreck within the meaning of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 to the Receiver of Wreck and The Crown Estate within fourteen days of the date of the find.

5.The Crown Estate reserves their right to ownership of all or any objects found, and the granting of this permission does not transfer any such rights to you. You may not claim ownership or rights to any objects found on the foreshore by virtue of this permission.

 6.You shall endeavour not to interfere with any persons exercising public rights on the foreshore of any description and shall not interfere with any property on the foreshore known to be the property of any other party.

 7.The Crown Estate may restrict or prohibit access to any part of the foreshore covered at any time without notice.

 8.You will go onto the foreshore at your own risk and no liability shall attach to The Crown Estate in any respect relative to any injury (including death) loss, damage whatever, including due to negligence, to the applicant or any property of the applicant whilst on the foreshore and you will indemnify The Crown Estate against all actions, proceedings, claims, demands, damages, costs and losses relating to or arising out of the exercise of any rights covered by or related to this permission and arising from the failure of the applicant to report any finding to the relevant person or authority pursuant to the terms of this licence.

 9.You will be responsible for obtaining any other necessary permissions including those of adjoining land owners in order to access the foreshore.

 10.You accept that the foreshore can be a dangerous place. You should check the times of tides before accessing the foreshore, and should be aware that tides can generate strong currents and should take all steps to ensure personal safety whilst on the foreshore.



Crown Estate foreshore,- Chichester area.


Crown Estate foreshore,-  Portsmouth area



You will need to know the tide times for the beach on which you intend to search.

          To obtain tide times for the next 7 days, go to :-    


  Select the area, e.g. South then the nearest port, e.g. Portsmouth


          To get tide times for the next 30 days, go to:-  http://www.ntslf.org/tides/predictions     Select the nearest port


    For a free set of tide tables ( e.g. for Portsmouth ) for the year, go to -




 - or you could use    easytide at      http://easytide.ukho.gov.uk


For  charts ( which you can purchase ) that will give high and low water for any beach in the UK as well as Spain and the north coast of France, go to      www.quicktide.co.uk   or    http://www.norfolkcoast.co.uk/site/quicktidetablecouk/    to get details of the three charts for South West,  South East and North which provide high and low water times for two years.





Or, - you can purchase a tide table for the year at any fishing tackle shop, yacht/boat shop or at some general stores/newsagents near a harbour or seaside location.


Perhaps you could use a Tide Clock

Go to http://www.ashortwalk.com    ( Products for the coast ) for this clock,

Useful if you are interested in beach detecting.


Searching on private land

To search on privately owned land you will need to obtain permission of the owner. It is not wise to rely on permission given verbally. A written agreement is required. This can take the form of a simple document stating the details of the permission and needs to be signed by the land owner and the detectorist(s).  Shown below is an example of the sort of document required. This document is the one recommended by the Federation of Independent Detectorists for use by its members. Please note that woodland, river banks, canal towpaths, public footpaths are all on private land and permission must be obtained to search these areas.

Note:- A Landowner/Detectorist contract can be downloaded from www.treasurehunting.co.uk























       Permission to search here?  -  unlikely!




Metal detecting rallies.

The two detecting magazines, The Searcher, and Treasure Hunting, advertise metal detecting rallies, also see the Internet detecting websites. The Notice Board page of this website often mentions local rallies, ie in the South of England.