Two new small pasture permissions

This afternoon I went out prospecting for a few hours.

My first port of call was at a mixed farm (cattle, sheep and horses) that I had originally called at a few weeks ago. On that occasion I had spoken to the stable girl who told me there had been people detecting on the land in the past so I left my card with her to pass on to the owners. Despite several other visits it wasn’t until today that I caught up with one of them. It seems my card and the fact of my first visit had not been passed on, so I left another card with the chap who wanted to discuss it with his wife. I’m not sure whether this will come good in the end but if it does it looks like a good 100+ acres.

Next port of call was a bit out of the way. The farmer told me he did a bit of detecting on his land himself so didn’t want anyone else to go on it. Fair enough. We had a long chat, during which he brought out a Garrett Ace 150 (?) which it seems someone had given him. He asked me about the sort of things I had found, asked me how his detector works and took on board my suggestion that he buy some headphones so he could hear faint signals better. Then he suggested that I try X at Y. Good lead.

On the way to Y, I called in at another place I passed on the off-chance and spoke to the landowner. Bingo! The land is currently rented out to a tenant who is vacating it in about 5 or 6 weeks and after that I can have a go. The landowner has owned it for at least 45 years and bought it from a family friend. It has never been detected.

Land: 32 acres

Called in at Y and spoke to X. Apparently someone has detected at least part of this farm but this was some years ago and he has since died. X seemed uncertain as to how long ago it had been detected. There are about 100 acres under arable and 50 under grass. The grass is three fields of which only the smallest is old pasture, the others having previously been arable under plough and only put down to grass in the past couple of years. So not only is the land available all year, but finds won’t have had chance to sink below detector range. Best of all, I can start this week.

Land: 50 acres

Celebrated with coffee and cake at a nearby garden centre.

Prospecting for permissions

Went out this afternoon prospecting for new permissions over towards Stratford upon Avon.

And I tried something new. Previously I’ve spent hours researching likely farms online using various websites, noting them down in a book with their postcodes and then going round them in turn. But it’s not that simple in practice, is it? The most promising looking places invariably have big “sod-off” gates at the bottom of the access road, or the land has been sold off to an agri-conglomorate based in an obscure Caribbean tax haven and the farmhouse has barely a 1/4 acre garden to its name, or I simply cannot find them even with the satnav. Unfortunately many farms don’t have any signage at the roadside to let you know that you have reached Pig’s Bottom Farm. Probably to deter metal detectorists.  Taken all together, I have spent hours in the past driving round and getting absolutely nowhere.

Today I just set off with a notebook and the OS map for the area, picked out a few villages and just drove round the lanes stopping at any farm I could get access to. And it may have worked.

The first place I stopped at has had a tame detectorist for about 6 years and doesn’t need another one (fair enough) but at the second I had a long chat with the landowner. He has around 60 acres in a very promising situation though he no longer farms the land himself. A couple of chaps had a go earlier this year for a day and by the sounds of it had some nice finds but they’ve not been back and not been in contact with him since. Both he and his tenant are interested in the history of the land and he in particular is very interested in having someone detect his acres. So long as his tenant agrees, which does seem likely, I’m in. I should know by the end of next week, so fingers crossed and child sacrifices to the duty deity, whoever that is.

I had another couple of possibles during the afternoon but will say nothing more about them for the time being.