Membership Questions

Yes by joining the NCMD you automatically receive the benefit of the combined liability insurance.

Yes anyone detecting whatever age should have insurance. This is provided as part of NCMD membership.

No you don’t need to be a member of the NCMD but it is advisable. It is also advisable to check the Crown Estate website to make sure you are only detecting on approved beaches.

No you don’t have to be a member of a Club to join us, you can join as an individual member.

You will have access to a virtual copy of your membership card via the NCMD App. Your physical card can take up to 21 days to arrive. If it hasn’t arrived within this time please email:

Detecting Advice

All land is owned by someone, this includes parks, public spaces, woods, common land, and public footpaths! So your top priority before you go out detecting is to get permission. Finding a private permission can take time, you have to find out who owns the land as well as who may be occupying the land, if it is rented, as you will need permission from both parties. 
Try doing some basic online searches on sites such as land registry if you know the address/area. You may also need to get you walking boots on as it can take a lot of leg work, sometimes the only way to find land is to walk and ask around to find the owner. If you are eager to get started, try searching on social media for Metal Detecting Groups near you, they are excellent for beginners as they usually have group digs, allowing you to learn and ask questions as you go. 
Don’t forget to use our Permission Agreement Form when you find private land to dig.

This is a very difficult question as everybody who detects will have their own favourite brand/machine, so you may get very biased advice.  Do some online research, ask your local group and if possible find a stockist.

Go in and have a chat with them, view the machines first-hand, get advice on the best machines for the type of detecting you have planned, i.e. beach detecting only. At the end of the day it will be your choice on the detector you are comfortable using and the budget you have planned. 

You do not need permission to detect on Crown Estate Beaches but you still need to follow the law and Code of Conduct. Visiting the Crown Estate website will help you locate those beaches.

Do not be tempted to phone all your friends and family or post up information on social media. You need to protect the details of your site as it will take time to get expert help. People talk and the last thing you want is to worry about is the security of the land.

You should only call two people – the landowner, and the correct authority to provide advice and help. For human remains call the police on 101. If it’s a hoard or other important historical item(s) then you can contact the NCMD major finds excavation hotline on 07983 897442 or your local FLO.  All the FLO’s details can be found here. For more information visit our Finds Page


If you think you have found something like this you need to stop digging immediately. Make the area safe and report it to the Police and landowner straightaway. Please watch our video for more advice

That’s a good question, this document will help give you some basic advice. How Metal Detectors Work