Metal detecting

Metal detecting is allowed in the countryside, but check our regulations about how and when.

Metal detecting can potentially damage sensitive countryside sites, so the practice is regulated with a permit scheme.

Permission may only be given following discussion with the County Archaeologist and the Site Manager.

Over 86% of the land managed by Hampshire Countryside Service has a biological or heritage designation. Very little of this land is exposed to disturbance that can move or damage the archaeological artefacts in the soil. Management of these areas maintains vegetation cover; the soil having been left undisturbed for many years. In some cases, these areas may never have been significantly disturbed.

Disturbance made by metal detecting can adversely affect specific species or habitats. Such factors will be considered before giving permission.

Applying for permission

Any permission given would be for an individual project on a given site. This would not act as a blanket permission to detect on all sites.

Apply to to metal detect on Hampshire County Council land
a metal detector

Public rights of way

The right of access to use a right of way by a member of the public does not extend to the use of metal detecting. Hampshire Countryside Service manages the rights of way network within the county but does not own them. Permission must be sought from the landowner.

a field leading down to woodland