Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Thames Mudlarking Rules

It’s taken me a while to figure out what I’m allowed and not allowed to do. You are allowed to walk along the foreshore and pick up stuff that you see on the surface, but must check out all finds which could be of archaeological interest  to the finds officer at the Museum of London, apparently they record everything before 1700. All contact details can be found via http://finds.org.uk/contacts

You are also asked to note the position of where you found the object, the Museum recommending ‘where’s the path’ which shows ordnance survey map next to google earth. http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm

You aren’t allowed to disturb the foreshore at all without a permit.  There are also sections of the Thames which are very restricted. The police might ask you leave restricted areas, this happened to me. All the rules and regulations are spelt out, aided by maps on the Port of London Authority (PLA) website.You can apply for a permit from the Port of London Authority, I've just received mine, a standard permit costs £55 for a couple of years. http://www.pla.co.uk/display_fixedpage.cfm/id/4018/site/environment.
Everyone bangs on about safety. I’ve noticed how terrifyingly fast the currents in the Thames are, I suspect because over the centuries the river has been restricted to a third of its width. The speed at which the tide rises is rather scary. All things to watch out for listed on PLA website. http://www.pla.co.uk/display_fixedpage.cfm/id/4018/site/environment.

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