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Normandy relics

Article about: Many Thanks for the replys, i will make the resturant a definate lunch stop.

  1. #11

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    I just thought i'd clear up the discussion on the use of a metal detector in France.

    The use of a detector is illegal in all areas of France without the direct written permission of the local government office. Having the land owners permission makes NO DIFFERENCE. Without the correct paperwork from the local government, you will be liable to a heavy fine, a couple of weeks in jail, your equipment AND CAR confiscated.....generally very bad news. Don't do it !

    Permission to use a metal detector is only usually granted to official 'digs' and is rarely granted to individuals out relic hunting.

    Beaches, however, are an entirely different matter. There is a misconception that the law relates to the specific use of a metal detector. This is true in some areas but most documents only refer to the digging up of relics.....not how you find where to dig. This also impacts on field walking as, in theory, if you see the muzzle of a relic weapon poking out the ground, it is actually illegal to dig the earth up around the relic to retrieve the rest of it. Because of this slight quirk, it would prove impossible to apply the same law to a beach. If it did apply, you wouldn't be able to make sandcastles, dig holes or even shift the sand.

    As a consequence, there is NO LAW in France (or any country that i am aware of) preventing the use of metal detectors on a beach. I have been to all the Normandy landing beaches with a metal detector and never encountered any problems (apart from on one occasions when a couple of Americans took objection to me searching Utah beach but then changed their tune when i gave them a couple of spent cases !).

    So....don't search the land in France because they are VERY keen on prosecuting MDers. However, dig to your hearts content on the beach.

    Hope this clears it up for everyone.


  2. #12

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    Some interesting finds!

    thanks relic hunter that was going to be my next question about the rules!


  3. #13

    Default Re: Normandy relics


    I got a notification of your post before you edited it ...... to answer your other questions that you wanted to know that i didn't answer above .....

    Belgium - You have to search a bit for the laws. Put simply, it's illegal to search in certain areas of Belgium. The area of the Ardennes offensive is covered by such laws. HOWEVER, the law has been difficult to apply and metal detecting is widespread. So far only 2 people have been prosecuted under the law and these were exceptional cases.

    Take a look here for more specific areas on other European countries Metal Detecting Laws

    As for bringing finds back to Britain there is no reason to declare them BUT there may be a case for reporting finds to the archaeological department in the area where you found them. They are all deemed to be of historic and therefore public interest.

    As most WW2 relics will carry little intrinsic value they are not classed as treasure and therefore do not need declaring as you pass through customs. Indeed, telling customs you have half a hundred weight of scrap metal in your boot may well get an awful lot of laughter. No live rounds (stupidly obvious but i'll say it anyway) or items containing explosives of any description may be trafficed across any European border. Don't do it.

    Hope this answers everything.

    BTW....I have been to the Ardennes twice and it is a good place to search, but virtually every wood and verge is, as i discovered, so potted with metal detector holes that you really have got to be lucky nowadays to find much beyond cartridge cases and the like.

    One last thing.....beaches refers to any area where the majority of the land is made up of sand. Therefore, you can stretch the law a smidgen in France and search the dunes as well.


  4. #14

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    On my trips to Zeeland (Holland) I often see signs forbidden searches with a metal detector, meanly on the digues . Quiet understantable!!
    But does thise mean it is allowed, any wear else?
    I might go for a "metal" search one day!
    Getting bored of oysters and lobsters!!
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!

  5. #15

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    Quote by relichunter View Post

    I got a notification of your post before you edited it ...... to answer your other questions that you wanted to know that i didn't answer above .....
    some how i had missed your post or the page hadnt quite appeared! doh

    thanks for the extra info

  6. #16

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    congratulations, lucky finds! I wouldn't have brought home those 2 pills though

  7. #17

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    I have been searching on old battlefields using a detector since 1986. The only country I got myself into trouble was in France (where I live.)
    I have searched in Holland, Belgium, Germany and Poland, and are now planning a trip to Estonia.

    Some of the information above is outdated, like the rules for Belgium and France.
    Belgium I avoid using a metaldetector now, because of the new law forbidding the use of a detector to search for any artifacts in the ground. It doesn't matter if you are searching for coins or warrelics. On the beach you will not have a problem, unless you start searching near Zeebruges, or The Haan. They turned Belgium into a bufferzone involving metaldetectors, and I consider it now as a "no go area".
    France has changed the law to; it is not possible anymore to simply get a lincense at the "prefecture" to use a detector. I got myself in trouble last year, and got visit from the French police. Because they had no knowledge of law themselfs I got away with a warning. My lincense had exspired, and they told me to apply for a new one. I went to the prefecture for a new one, but they told me the law had changed and they didn't hand them out anymore; now you have to be a member of a argeologic team to get one, but they said if you have permission of the owner of the land on paper and signed by the owner you will be alright as long as the land is not in a archeological area (Normandie, Picardië, Languedoc ect.) All artifacts older then 50! years are considered archeologic value, so all wwI and II stuff is that.
    In Holland I never had any problems, except from people being nosey, especialy when they see a strange French car parked somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I even contaced the Dutch police when I came across some Tellermines, and a load of Flak grenades. The last time I found a load of AP riflegrenades. I toke out a couple nice ones for in my collection, and phoned the police to collect the rest. They even thanked me for reporting them, and never asked me any questions, they just said to phone them if I ever found any over dangerous stuff.
    Somebody above posted that there are no European countries where you cant search on the beach. Well I can tell you if you really want to get yourself in to trouble, like in prison or so, try walking on a beach in Portugal with a detector. Another country with weird laws is Israel (ok, not European). In Israel its against the law to even own a detector as a amator!

    *Sorry for my poor English, I'm doing the best I can.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    Sweden has very harsh rules on metaldetecting also. Even on beaches. Need a permission from the authorities wich can be very hard to get.

  9. #19

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    As you can see from Appie and Snafu's replies.....this is by no means a clear subject.

    I would double check with the authorities prior to travelling to any area. Certainly what appie said about Belgium doesn't appear to be working as I saw quite a few detectorists and MANY recently dug holes.

    I suppose my vision was blinkered by WW2 relics as I wasn't even thinking of Portugal, Israel or Sweden when i wrote the above ! I won't find any WW2 relics there so they weren't even involved in my thought processes.

    Anyway guys.....double check before you go anywhere !


  10. #20

    Default Re: Normandy relics

    Actually you can find a some ww2 relics in Sweden. Quite a few planes from the allies and axis crashed in sweden. Most of the wrecks are scrapped. A Lancaster from 617 squadron crashed in northern sweden after a bombing mission to Tirpitz. That plane still resides on the crashsite. We also have many planes that sunk in swedish waters. Outside gotland a B17 lies on about 40 meters. And not far from me a Heinkel 111 h20 went down.
    On an island not far from me the swedish army blow up more than a few Capronis on a shooting range.

    However this is not the traditional relics discussed on this forum.

    As an OT anecdote. Sweden also had one Köningstiger. What happned to it? Guess ... Kablooom on a shooting range! I believe a Panther meet the same fate there.

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