A chat with the farmer and an encounter with a hare

Back on the same field (Field 4) as 2 weeks ago, this time for a random wander.

My random wanders aren’t always strictly random. Usually I choose a landmark across the field (a tree, a gate, the corner of the field, a sheep feeder) and work towards it, and when I get there I choose another distant landmark and so on and so forth so that I progressively criss-cross the field in various directions. It has the effect of conducting a good audit of what might be in the field without the tedium of doing a union-jack search.

Again, this field proved disappointing with very few signals in 3 hours and most of those were shotgun cartridges. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, given the proximity of the spinney which must surely once have been used for shooting.

The farmer was working nearby, cleaning out a ditch and culvert. I have only seen him occasionally in the more than 18 months I’ve been detecting on the farm so I wandered over for a chat and learned a few things.

  • The other detectorist I’d spotted several weeks previously had started out on the farmer’s sister’s land adjacent but had apparently found nothing in the couple of sessions he’d spent on those 70 acres of pasture and had been allowed onto my farmer’s land as well to see if he could do any better. Apparently he hadn’t, which from my own experience seems all too believeable.
  • I had been under the impression that the farmer’s family had owned the land for more than 40 years and that it had been pasture when they bought it. In fact they bought it around 1980 and at that time it was under plough.

Gobsmack! If this land was being regularly ploughed until 30 years ago, why is so little coming up? If it had been under pasture since the year dot I could accept that finds had sunk below detector range but clearly this was not the case. So where the hell is everything?

While we were talking I spotted a hare at the far end of the field. Over the next few minutes it galloped along the edge of the spinney, then turned and headed straight for us, stopping about 20 feet away to stare at us. Then it hopped off, squeezed under the gate and hopped along the track towards the farm buildings. A fantastic moment as I’ve never been that close to a wild hare before. The highlight of the day in fact.

Finds: 1 Victorian penny (1876) and 1 iron buckle.

1876 pennyrectangularironbuckle