Thames foreshore search permits

Foreshore permits

Anyone wishing to search the tidal Thames foreshore in any way for any reason must hold a current foreshore permit from the Port of London Authority (PLA).

The permit scheme covers activities including:

  • searching
  • metal detecting
  • digging
  • 'scraping'
  • 'mudlarking'

Searching is not allowed east of the Thames Barrier – permits are only valid for certain locations west of the Thames Barrier up to Teddington.

All areas of foreshore in the UK have an owner. Metal detecting, searching or digging is not a public right – you need permission from the landowner.

To find out more about the scheme, including applications and fees for Standard Permits and Mudlark Permits, go to Port of London Authority: Thames foreshore access.