There are various reasons why people want to go metal detecting on the beach around Aldeburgh.
It could be that they want to find some hidden treasure and make a fortune. Equally there are plenty of people who do it purely for pleasure and to add a bit of purpose to a walk along the coastline. However some people may be hesitant as they may be afraid of unwittingly breaking the law or causing a nuisance. However with a few simple tips you can enjoy your metal detecting, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be causing any harm in the process!
One of the key considerations you should make before you go detecting is to make sure you have the right kind of metal detector. For example some detectors are designed specifically pick up gold, while others are designed to detect older coins (it is also possible to buy detectors that can switch modes if you want to check for a range of items).
It is also possible to get detectors that can be broken up into sections, ideal if you intend to travel around a number of beaches or other places in order to find treasures.
Reading the sand
People who are experienced detectorists know when the levels of sand on a beach are low or high. One of the best places to go are where a lot of activity takes place- this may seem counter intuitive as most people may want to avoid going to crowded areas. However these are the areas where it is likely to be easier to detect items under the surface. Therefore when you go out detecting look FOR the crowds, not away from them!
The best thing to do is check websites (the British Archaeological Site is a good example!) to know when the low tide is as this will make it easier to find the best hotspots for potential finds.
On the loose
When people think of metal detecting they think people are looking for ancient treasures. However treasures of a more recent kind may be found this way- for example a lot of people when they jump onto the beach may have their loose change, rings or other items flung from their pockets in a moment of over-excitement (you could potentially reunite someone with a precious item!)
Another thing to keep an eye on are distinct features of the beach- for example if there is a Victorian pier then this should be the first place you should go as this is a likely place for some interesting finds (although you may be competing with other detectorists- according to this forum our region is rich in discoveries!)
Detectorists tend to favour smaller beaches as it means the finds are in a more concentrated area and you don’t spend as long searching along the coastline. The best time to go out detecting is just after a storm as this tends to clear the sands and gives you the best chance to unearth some interesting discoveries!
Before you go metal detecting it is important to be aware of the legal issues involved. The Treasure Act states that anything defined as “treasure” (mainly metallic coins and groups of items defined as having rare value) needs to be reported to the local coroner within 14 days. Technically anything found on land belonging to someone belongs to them, although most detectorists will come to an agreement to share proceeds of any discoveries (so this is something you should check before you go out detecting!).
In short if you are prepared to do a bit of research in terms of the equipment, conditions and legal issues before you go out detecting it is possible to get the most from this fun and fascinating hobby.