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Metal Detecting and Digging on the Thames Foreshore
All metal detecting or digging on the Thames foreshore requires a permit from the Port of London Authority (PLA). 'Digging' includes any activity which disturbs the surface - ie it includes use of any type of implement to 'scrape' or investigate the foreshore. A standard PLA foreshore permit allows digging to a depth of 7.5 cm (3 inches) [NB: an "eyes only" search without digging does not require a permit].
The foreshore permit is only valid for certain locations west of the Thames Barrier up to Teddington. Metal detecting or digging is not normally allowed east of the Barrier. Note: Other restrictions apply. For further details see: Click here for details
Any object found on the foreshore which could be of archaeological interest must be reported to the Museum of London.
The Thames foreshore is potentially hazardous and some dangers may not always be immediately apparent. The Thames is deep and has fast currents. The water is also very cold.
Anyone going on the foreshore does so entirely at their own risk and must take personal responsibility for their safety and that of anyone with them. Dangers include rapidly rising tides, raw sewage, broken glass, hypodermic needles and wash from vessels. Steps and stairs are prone to slip and trip hazards and mud/slime.
Before going onto the foreshore consider:
• sensible footwear and gloves
• carrying a mobile phone (in an emergency dial 999)
• not going alone
• the tide: the tidal Thames rises and falls by seven metres. Check tide times here. Always make sure you can get off the foreshore quickly - watch the tide and that steps or stairs are close.
Be aware of the possibility of Weil's Disease, spread by rats. Infection is usually through cuts in the skin or through eyes, mouth or nose. Medical advice should be sought immediately if ill effects are experienced after visiting the foreshore, particularly "flu like" symptoms ie temperature, aching etc.
For more information on Thames foreshore permits, please contact Ken Jackelman, Port of London Authority. Tel: 01474 562339 or email email@example.com