Unauthorised metal detecting
We have had issues in the past with unauthorised metal detectorists entering the Berkeley site at night time after we have left. These detectorists are called ‘nighthawks’ and they trespass on to land and any finds they discover are sold on to unscrupulous dealers rather than declared to the relevant authorities such as the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Nighthawks can gain information through joining legitimate metal detector clubs or through the Treasure Act of 1996, which stipulates that all finds must be published, which can alert nighthawks to potential sites. Being caught nighthawking can lead to anything from a fine to a prison sentence. Here at Berkeley we have also been targeted by nighthawks and have had to increase security on site. We are also very lucky to have the local police and the residents of Berkeley on the lookout for any suspicious activity on site. We work with professional Archaeo-Detectorists at Berkeley, who are constantly walking the trenches and checking the soil heaps for metal finds.