Metal detectorist finds chemical mortar rounds at Farlington Marshes in Portsmouth

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A PORTSMOUTH beauty spot was cordoned off after historic chemical mortar rounds were found by a man with a metal detector.

Police were called to Farlington Marshes, along Solent Way, after the unexploded ordnance was discovered just before 11am yesterday.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said it was found by a local metal detectorist.

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Royal Navy divers bomb disposal team were also sent to the scene.

Police at the entrance to Farlington Marshes, on Sunday, after unexploded ordnance was found at the site. Picture: Mel LeggPolice at the entrance to Farlington Marshes, on Sunday, after unexploded ordnance was found at the site. Picture: Mel Legg
Police at the entrance to Farlington Marshes, on Sunday, after unexploded ordnance was found at the site. Picture: Mel Legg | Other 3rd Party

The spokesman said: ‘The navy diving unit responded, packaged the items and sent them to the military chemical weapons facility for disposal.’

A scientist visiting the marshes, Robbie Rowe, said police restricted public access to the site and the nature reserve while the incident was dealt with.

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Mr Rowe told The News: ‘[Police] said they thought it was WW1 chemical munition.

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Bomb disposal team arrived just as we were leaving the car park.’

Farlington Marshes is a hotspot for nature lovers, with Brent geese, chiffchaffs, kestrels, short-eared owls and weasels all known to reside there.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘We were called just before 11am yesterday (December 29) after a device, believed to be unexploded ordnance, was discovered at Farlington Marshes.

‘The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team attended and removed it.’

The MoD could not confirm which era the chemical mortar rounds originated from.

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