THERE were fewer treasure finds reported in West Yorkshire last year, new provisional figures show – despite a record number of finds across the country.

Data collected by the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum shows three treasure finds in West Yorkshire were recorded in 2022 – down from five the year before.

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.

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.

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. 

In Yorkshire and the Humber, there were 107 finds in 2022.

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

He added there might be as many as 40,000 active metal-detectorists in the UK.

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