Bomb squad called after unexploded shell is found at Derwent Edge in Peak District near Sheffield

Bomb disposal experts were called to the Peak District near Sheffield after an unexploded shell was discovered at a popular beauty spot.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:10 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:26 pm

Ian Winterburn, a senior member of Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team, raised the alarm after finding the device which is believed to date back to the Second World War while walking on the moors around Derwent Edge.

The Royal Logistics Corps bomb disposal experts were deployed, along with police officers and fellow members of the mountain rescue team.

After examining the shell thoroughly, the experts deemed it to be safe and removed it from the area.

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The item which was found by a member of Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team in the Peak District near Sheffield turned out to be an unexploded smoke shell, believed to date from the Second World War (pic: Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team)

Ian Winterburn, who is also a hill skills instructor, told how he found the old shell sticking out of the peat on Monday, October 25.

“I’ve found lots of shells over the years whilst out walking. However, this was both larger and more complete that other shells I have found," he said.

What should you do if you find a suspected bomb?

The Royal Logistics Corps' bomb disposal squad was called after an unexploded shell was found in the Peak District near Sheffield (pic: Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team)

"Some are harmless but there are both high explosive and schrapnel shells amongst them and often the AP (armour piercing) rounds have fuses attached so any suspect items should not be touched….

"On this occasion, the shell was found to be a spent 17lb smoke or phosphorus shell.

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“Every year we get live rounds which are blown up as it is too dangerous to move them. Given the history of the moorland in our area, which was used during the Second World War as a training ground for tank regiments, unexploded devices may appear over time as the ground erodes.

“If by chance a member of the public finds an suspect item, they should save the location with OS Locate, Google Pin or another app, take a photo and report it to the police as they will require assistance from the Royal Logistics Corps.

Why are there shells and other ammunition in this part of the Peak District?

“Our team attend numerous call outs like this every year and occasionally do an exercise with the RLC where we clear an area of shells.”

During the Second World War, Langsett Moors were used for army training, which is why there is still much spent and live ammunition in the area.

Targets, undergound bunkers and shooting ranges are among the other surviving evidence of the area’s military past.