Today we see a complete change in direction with the PAST team travelling north on the M6 to Cumbria AND surveying pasture in place of our usual arable sites.
This is a new permission of six hundred acres with a mix of mainly pasture with a small amount of arable. Some of the present pasture has been used as arable in the past.
The story behind this acqusition came about by the action of one of the team members stopping the traffic whilst an operational procedure was taking place in the roadway. At the head of the traffic queue was a gentleman who asked what the hold up was, of which was explained courteously telling him that 'Superfast Broadband' was on its way. He replied that he wasn't very computer savvy and got his secretary to do "all that sort of stuff". When asked what sort of business he had he simply replied that he had an estate "up the road". The opportunity to ask about detecting was too hard to resist and the answer was "come whenever you like..... as long as I get half" and with that, he passed on his business card.
We arrived at the predetermined time of 9am to meet with the landowner at the Estate Office. We were very kindly given an A3 map of the estate which took in a few hamlets and areas we didn't anticipate at all.
What a great and 'down-to-earth' guy he was! He said "go wherever you like" and pointed out that some of the farms are tenanted but not to worry. He also reminded us about the "going halves" bit of the agreement with a wry smile.
We'd already decided on the first area to survey which happened to be a field quite close to the hamlet and the landowners home.
We parked on the field to the sound of chaffinches and greenfinch singing their Spring ditties and the territorial call of the green woodpecker which used to be known as the "Yaffle" in medieval times.
The Déus' were set up as follows; Déus #1 in GMP, 18khz, GB in Tracking and Déus #2; GMP, 18khz, Full tones, Disc at 1, Reactivity at 2, GB in Tracking. Both machines were fitted with the 13" x 11" coils.
The overall ground conditions consisted of shallow soil over bedrock or stones with very little ferrous contamination hence my setting of disc at 1 and reactivity at 1 & 2. The reduction in reactivity should increase the depth capability slightly and this was the case with some recoveries coming in at twelve inches where the soil cover was deeper.
The first signal of the day resulted in a nice William III shilling dated 1698 being recovered at three inches.
The second signal was again at three inches and was a huge piece of lead fashioned in the shape of a sphere and weighing in at 611g!!! Several buckles and Georgian coins were recovered during the day. Towards the end of the day as the sun began to set a lovely George III half crown dated 1817 was recovered at four inches as this was the soil depth over the bedrock and stone layer.
Later on in the day we bumped into the landowner and he said "oh.. I forgot to tell you that there are some earthworks next to one of the farms and that it was a settlement of some description". Jeeps! It looks as though we'll have to take a look at that one on our next visit.... whenever that may be!!
In all not a bad day with the weather being kind and lovely views with the distant snow capped mountains showing over the valley tops.
Images of the days finds can be seen here.