Advice and Support

Section 42 consent for metal detecting

You must get consent to use equipment capable of detecting metal within a scheduled monument area.

You must apply for section 42 consent to use any equipment capable of detecting metal within a scheduled monument area.

This includes equipment used for:

  • metal detecting
  • magnetometry
  • gradiometry
  • ground penetrating radar surveys

Section 42 consent will normally be granted for geophysical surveys.

For metal detecting surveys, section 42 consent will normally only be granted where the survey forms part of a wider research strategy, and provision is made for the conservation and reporting of finds.

How to apply

Applications for section 42 consent must include:

  • details of the survey methodology
  • a plan showing the proposed survey area
  • confirmation that you have permission from the landowner to conduct the survey

Applications for metal detecting should also include:

  • a detailed research strategy outlining how the metal detecting survey will contribute to the research project’s wider aims
  • an outline of how you will conserve and analyse any finds
  • confirmation that you will declare all finds to the Treasure Trove Unit

Application forms and guidance notes

S42 Metal Detecting Application Guidance Notes [PDF, 247KB]
S42 Metal Detecting Application Form [Word, 191KB]

Metal Detecting and Scheduled Monuments [PDF, 1.41MB]
Metal Detecting: Yes or no? (Gaelic version) [PDF, 1.9MB]


Heritage Directorate
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place

Telephone: 0131 668 8716