Warning over metal detectorists after Roman helmet find

Crosby Garrett helmet Landowners are being warned to know their rights

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Landowners are being warned to expect a surge in metal detectorists after a Roman helmet sold for £2m.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said its members should make sure they know the law before allowing metal detectorists on to their property.

It said disputes could arise and has published an advisory handbook.

The helmet was unearthed by a metal detector enthusiast in Crosby Garrett, near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, in May.

The piece, thought to have been worn by soldiers at sports events, was expected to fetch £300,000 when it went under the hammer at Christie's in London, but went to an anonymous bidder for £2m.

Professional advice

Both the finder and the farmer who owns the land where the artefact was found are entitled to a share of the sale money.

Angus Collingwood-Cameron, director of the CLA North East, said: "While such finds are extremely rare... I'm sure that this element of excitement helps to make the activity so popular.

"Responsible metal detectorists can unearth much that contributes to our heritage, but landowners must have control over all activities on their property.

"I cannot emphasise too strongly the importance of taking professional advice, to avoid costly legal battles in the future, and to discourage trespass.

"This high-profile event will make both landowners and detectorists wonder what else can be found, but taking simple steps, will give all parties peace of mind."

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