World War II mortars made safe at Hordle Cliff beach
Four World War II mortars have been discovered at Hordle Cliff beach at Milford on Sea. The shells, believed to be spigot mortars, were discovered in the course of work by New Forest District Council to remove WWII anti-tank defences known as 'Admiralty scaffolding' buried in the sand just below the waterline since the end of the war.
It is not known whether the work unearthed the shells or whether they had been washed onto the shoreline from another location. No munitions have previously been found on this beach during NFDC works to remove the wartime defences over the last nine years.
The shells were found by contractors around 16.30 on Wednesday 29 March. Worked was halted and the public prevented from accessing the area.
The coastguard, the lead responder in these situations, was immediately informed and arrived on site. They cordoned off the ordnance and surrounding area of the beach. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Portsmouth attended the site at 06.30 this morning (30 March). One mortar was detonated safely on the beach and the devices recovered were removed from site to be disposed of.
Metalwork removal work has now resumed.
Steve Cook, NFDC's coastal and public facilities manager, said:
"Discoveries like this are not unusual on the south coast, although this is the first time we have found ordnance during our works at Hordle Cliff. We have clear procedures in place to protect our workers and the public which were followed. The coastguard has now removed the cordons but we will continue to take sensible precautions during the works. Members of the public using the beach are asked to be vigilant and if they see anything of concern they should call 999 and ask for the coastguard."