There have been more than 220 bomb alerts requiring a Police response in Shropshire and Mid Wales in the past five years. Whilst several of these have been false alarms or the result of ‘suspicious packages’, many have resulted in the removal of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) relating to past military activity.
The list of call-outs has been diverse, with a variety of artillery shells, mortars and grenades found in places ranging from garden sheds, to country footpaths and farmers’ fields. It is an unsurprising that the majority of discoveries have related to British munitions, with the region not heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe during WWII and being out of range of the WWI Zeppelins.
The number of call-outs does testify, however, to the regularity with which UXO is still found in the UK, either as a result of it being collected by unwary residents or left in situ from the day it was fired. It goes to show the importance of addressing the potential UXO hazard on a site before any ground investigation or development works, regardless of where it is in the UK.