A metal detectorist from Dalton has revealed his concerns about the Government’s plans to redefine the Treasure Act.

This comes after the announcement from culture minister Caroline that more of the most important archaeological finds will be protected for the public under plans to develop a new definition of treasure.

The move is one of the biggest changes to the Treasure Act since it came into effect nearly 25 years ago.

Under the existing definition, objects are designated as treasure if they are found to be more than 300 years old, made of gold or silver or found with artefacts made of precious metals.

Once officially identified as treasure, artefacts become the property of the Crown and are available for acquisition by local or national museums to go on public display.

Some items of national importance have been lost to the public or at risk of sale into private collections.

Graeme Rushton, a metal detectorist from Dalton and owner of Unearthed UK, said: “I have got some concerns about the plans, but that is more for the items that come under new plans in 2022.

“If more finds are going to be given to museums for the public to see I would like to see them in displays and not put away in a drawer somewhere.

“It would also be nice if the detectorists who found the items were credited.

“I got a find in 2013 that was classed as treasure and that was not put on display.

“It will be interesting to see nearer the time to see if this happens.

“But hopefully this new process will be much quicker than it is now as I am still waiting to get some of my finds from January inspected. But the devil will be in the detail.”

The Mail: TREASURE: Graeme Rushton using a metal detectorTREASURE: Graeme Rushton using a metal detector

Mr Rushton found a rare silver penny from the 12th century in 2018 in a field, depicting King Stephen, which was sold for £10,540 at auction.

Culture minister Caroline Dinenage said: “The search for buried treasures by budding detectorists has become more popular than ever before and many ancient artefacts now see the light of day in museums’ collections.

“However, it is important that we pursue plans to protect more of our precious history and make it easier for everyone to follow the treasure process.”

The growing popularity of metal detecting since the inception of the act in 1996 has brought to light an increasing number of finds from Roman Britain that do not meet the current treasure criteria because they are often made from bronze and not precious metals.