Warning to metal detectorists digging up Wakefield park

Metal detectorists are being warned to stay away from Wakefield’s public parks following complaints about turf being dug up and left.

Friday, 29th May 2020, 1:56 pm
Turf has been dug up around Thornes Park.
Turf has been dug up around Thornes Park.

In recent weeks dozens of lumps of turf have been overturned by detectorists hunting for valuable metals at Thornes Park.

It has led to criticism from people who use the park, and has led to Wakefield Council putting out a warning that those responsible could face prosecution.

Resident Jason Lindop, who lives near the park and regualry walks his dog there, said: “If you walk through you see scattered, dried turf everywhere, it’s like potholes.

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“It’s been going on for quite some time, before lockdown, and we’ve seen metal detectorists down there.

“It’s frustrating to see it because parts of it now look a mess.”

A second person took to Facebook recently to express their anger at the situation and said they had even approached one detectorist who ignored their concerns and carried on digging.

Councillor Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “I am really disappointed to hear of the damage caused at one of our parks due to metal detecting.

“This behaviour not only places unnecessary costs on the council to put right but it also ruins the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

“The council does not allow metal detecting in its parks and we urge members of the public to please report it."

Anyone with any information should contact Wakefield Council by calling 0345 8 50 506.

Alternatively they can report incidents to West Yorkshire Police by using the 101 number.

The remains of a Norman castle were discovered at Thornes Park in 2105 following a geophysical survey, which allows archaeologists to effectively see large features beneath the surface without excavating.