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I started this series when I met a metal detectorist on a beach near Land’s End. I asked him what he’d found and in a deflated tone he told me that his finds that day had been almost exclusively drink cans. While we spoke about this, he explained that the problem with detecting on beaches is that the sand moves at great speed compared to the soil further in land. For a detectorist, the window for finding something before it’s swept away on a beach is very slim.

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