Tuesday, October 18, 2011

There’s gold in them hills! - Gold prospecting in the UK

Although the idea of gold prospecting seems to belong to a bygone age of American history, you might be surprised to know that plenty of people find gold in Britain.

The best places to find gold in the UK are in the rivers of Wales and Scotland but many people have also been successful in the rivers of Cornwall and Devon.

One experienced UK prospector has reported finding gold in 58 rivers throughout the Britain.

Scotland is particularly rich in gold and it can be found in many areas, particularly in the Lowther Hills around Wanlockhead and Leadhills where gold panning has been popular for centuries.

In North Wales, gold panning has become restricted. Gold panners in North Wales have been told they could face a £20,000 fine or a jail sentence if they look for the precious metal in the region's rivers, after damage to the rivers Mawddach and Wen near Dolgellau, Gwynedd.

If you are planning to prospect for gold in North Wales you need to contact the British Gold panning association and find out about obtaining a licence.

Devon is a popular location for gold prospecting. You should approach the landowner for permission before you start.

Many people find that a quick training course in gold panning is a good place to begin and there are short residential courses on offer in Scotland.

Alternatively, why not visit Dolaucothi in Dyfed Wales?  This is the site of the earliest gold mine in Britain and now, no longer used commercially it is a visitor’s centre run by the National Trust.

You can rent the pans and equipment and enjoy a taster session for a day.
Although you probably will not get rich gold prospecting in the UK, it is a fun and enjoyable hobby in the great outdoors.

You never know what you will find and people have been lucky.

The British streams and rivers still contain gold and every year winter storms bring more to the surface. It is still there for the taking, and the gold pan is the best way to find it!

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