There have been multiple treasure finds in Greater Manchester over the past five years, new provisional figures show.

Data collected by the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum shows there have been four treasure finds in Greater Manchester in the past five years, with the most recent in 2021.

In the North West, there were 64 finds in 2022.

The figures show the number of reported treasure finds for 2021 and provisional figures for 2022 within England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Detectorists use metal detectors to scour open land for buried items – occasionally unearthing historic coins, pottery, or other historic items.

And this data comes as the number of detectorists across the UK continues to grow, with the Institute of Detectorists raising concerns about the supply of historical artefacts possibly running out.

The amount of buried treasure discovered across the nations reached a new high last year with some 1,378 finds in 2022, marking the ninth consecutive year that the 1,000 mark has been exceeded.

Overall, around a quarter of the found objects and a quarter of the found coins were acquired by or donated to museums – totalling 270 additions.

The finalised figures for 2021 show there were 1,072 finds recorded. Of these, 96 per cent of treasure finds were discovered by metal detecting, 3 per cent were archaeological finds and one per cent were chance finds or were found via mud larking.

The South East of England held onto its title as the country’s buried treasure hotspot with 349 finds last year, accounting for 25 per cent of all treasure finds.

Keith Westcott, founder of the Institute of Detectorists, said: "The number of active detectorists has been steeply rising since the Covid lockdown."

He added the 2021 Portable Antiquities Annual Report suggested there might be as many as 40,000 active metal-detectorists in the United Kingdom.

"Current estimates for 2023, raise this figure to 50,000," he said.

He added the "amazing and precious" resource of portable heritage is being depleted as more people take up metal detecting.

He noted just 3,000 metal detectorists are recording with the Portable Antiquities Scheme which is managed by the British Museum and records archaeological finds discovered by the public.

Separately, a Department for Culture, Media, and Sport survey in 2022-23 found an estimated one per cent of adults in England said they had taken part in metal detecting at least once in the 12 months prior to the survey.

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