It comes with great sorrow to the disconcerted news team at the Daily Detectorist to announce that Metal Detecting has been completely banned by all county councils and farmer’s unions in Dorset after an intense campaigning effort by the self described ‘hippie vegan social-justice-warrior wormkin’ movement ‘Justice For Worms’.
The ban, which has sparked controversy and anger among many metal detecting enthusiasts, comes after a fisherman off the Dorset coast caught a rare previously unseen species of worm in his nets over 30cm long early last week. Subsequent investigations by DEFRA, the Natural History Museum and the Environment Agency concluded that the species was previously unknown to science, and revealed that it has taken a liking to cultivated land on farm fields as well as sites of ancient human habitation in Dorset, having destroyed part of the earthworks of Maiden Castle after a particularly rampant breeding season in December. Although the worms’ damage to physical buildings has been relatively low, some predict that their activities could lead to towns like Weymouth slowly subsiding into the sea within the next decade. Several days after its identification as a new species previously unknown to science, the Jurassic Worm was designated as a protected species by all major wildlife organisations such as the RSPB and RSPCA. The new species has been named Squirmium Giganticum Jurassicum in honour of Professor B Squirmy of the worm studies department based at Exeter college Oxford, and has been designated as belonging to the genus Phoronida.
John Wriggles, leader of Justice for Worms, had this to say on the issue.
‘We had long suspected that species such as this Jurassic Worm had existed, but had no solid proof until now. This catch by a local fisherman has catapulted our dodgily funded organisation specialising in the blackballing and discrediting of all opposition using Cambodian hookers, BDSM toys and crude framing tactics to the forefront of all the UK social justice groups. We believe (and also by default believe that the worms would support us in this if they could talk) that the lot of the Jurassic Worm in Dorset is a poor one. Detectorists trotting all over the landscape digging holes, destroying vital worm habitat and wiping out whole colonies every metal detecting rally. If this goes unchecked then the consequences could be dire for the species ! Worms have rights too and if Dorset metal detectorists are so pissed off with the rightful decision that has been made then maybe they should just take their business to Hampshire or Sussex instead.’
Mr Wriggles’ remarks have caused a great deal of controversy, and indeed a number of pro-detectorist landowners who disagree with his remarks have already begun leading protests against the ban, we sent Paul McCoil to interview Mr Andrew Malcolms of the Dorset and West Artefact Finders for his perspective. When we initially turned up at his home address, we found it deserted and boarded up, but after some general inquiries found Mr Malcolms five miles away leading a crowd of glum and trudging detectorists eastwards towards the Hampshire border on what has become known as ‘the great detecting trail of tears’, some with spotted handkerchiefs knotted onto their T2s and Deuses carrying vital food supplies or spare batteries.
‘So Andrew, what’s going on here?’ ‘Well Paul I am leading my people to the promised land, There’s nothing here left for us any more, not since eight people were seriously assaulted by wildlife campaigners in the last week and everyone left in Dorset is just detecting at night to worm their way around the ban. No, Hampshire is the new place for us, and nothing will stop us in our quest for honest and fair detecting. Mind you, we will have to re-name the club the Hampshire and East Artefact Finders , but at least we will still all be together.’ Mr Malcolms broke off the interview with tears in his eyes, and we left him sobbing by the wayside, comforted by his detecting partners as hundreds of dejected Dorset detectorists shuffled past on the road eastwards, shadowed by armed members of farmer’s unions and heckled all the way by masked Justice For Worms protestors who flung rotting vegetables and brickbats. In recent hours we have heard that attempted incursions by Dorset detectorists fleeing their homeland along the borders of the county have been repulsed by violent assaults from hooded bands of Hampshire detectorists, although these reports are completely unconfirmed.