Planning and building

Using metal detectors in York

You cannot use metal dectectors in any open spaces owned or managed by us, due to the archaeological status of our city and the concern to public safety.

Metal detectors and the law

You don’t need a licence to use a metal detector in the UK, but there are laws about their use.

Using a metal detector is:

Land identified as a site of importance for nature conservation (SINC) should be discussed with the relevant local authority as permission may need to be sought from Natural England.

Metal detector finds and treasure

Ideally, any finds should be reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Through the scheme, your local Finds Liaison Officer will help you identify finds and give advice on conservation.

Certain types of find must be reported to our Coroner's Office within 14 days. Finds declared as ‘treasure’ by the Coroner become the property of the British Museum and you will be paid a percentage of their value.

Any gold or silver objects, or groups of coins over 300 years old. are classed as ‘treasure’ and must be reported under the Treasure Act 1996.

Also see

Public Realm

Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York, YO10 3DS

Telephone: 01904 551551


City Archaeologist, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA