The value of a UXO survey

Having a UXO survey can save time, money, reputations and lives. Here’s why you need one – because UXO is still found all over the UK! In this blog post, we talk about UXO found in a moor (which was previously a military training site), a small town near Cornwall, and on a road near a pub!

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Welcome to Igne’s latest unexploded ordnance (UXO) roundup – this series of blogposts highlights the most interesting UXO finds fortnightly (with the odd bad pun added in for your amusement), because whilst there’s nothing more serious than ordnance, the ways and means that bombs, grenades and mortars are unearthed can be truly eyebrow raising. 

Without further ado, let’s begin!

On the fence

Below are two images: one is a fence post - one is an item of UXO. 
Can you guess which is which?


Unless you’re an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) expert, it might be difficult to tell – particularly as UXO can become corroded and hard to recognise over time. 

When an elderly resident of Godolphin Cross, a small village in west Cornwall, spotted a suspicious looking item whilst gardening, they immediately contacted the police.  The area was evacuated to ensure everyone’s safety while experts took a closer look.

Thankfully, the item in question was merely a fence post.

As part of the CPD accredited UXO safety training our Technical Field Manager, Nigel Barton offers, inert UXO is presented for participants’ edification.  Amongst the inert ordnance he shows is a fence post.  It’s a commonly confused item.

Nevertheless, it is always better to be safe than sorry.  If you discover a strange looking item that could conceivably be UXO – do not touch it, maintain a safe distance, and contact your local authorities immediately.

In the pub because of a dud?

In Shaun of the Dead, the main characters barricaded themselves inside a pub during a zombie apocalypse.  It makes sense, right?  If you are going to be stuck somewhere, it may as well be a pub.

When Abbotsbury in West Dorset went into lockdown after UXO was discovered on a nearby road, some South African tourists got extremely lucky – they were forced to lock down in the local pub!

An EOD engineer was called out to safely destroy the ordnance in-situ eventually.  Thankfully, no one was harmed, and it was a good excuse to get a few more drinks in!

Some sites need more than a UXO survey!

The Langsett and Midhope moors used to be military training grounds.  Today, the moors are frequently visited by hikers who enjoy the flatlands and vibrant green scenery.  However, like many ex-training sites, the Langsett and Midhope moors are no strangers to UXO contamination.

Around the moors, bullet holes and the remnants of Nissen huts and bunkers can still be seen.  The road is paved with the rubble from the Sheffield blitz, and UXO is frequently discovered by walkers.

Three tank rounds were recently discovered by the moors, originating from British, Canadian, American and Polish tank crews who used to utilise the training grounds. These finds are dangerous, they are also a reminder of the site’s history and the legacy of UXO.

76 years after V-J Day, UXO is still being found across the United Kingdom.  Be it German high explosive bombs or British training mortars, UXO has staying power – and ordnance can be as deadly as the day it was manufactured.

UXO can be discovered anywhere – even in the most unexpected places.  It can be triggered by heat, vibration, or shock – and the results can be devastating.  It’s therefore important to take the necessary precautions when working in an area with a medium to high risk of UXO contamination.

How can you identify a site’s UXO contamination level?  With a desktop risk assessment.  Igne has an expert team of researchers who utilise a plethora of sources to provide you with key insights regarding your site.  Furthermore, Igne has the equipment and capabilities to mitigate the risk of UXO on your site (should it be of medium to high risk of UXO contamination), in addition to a whole range of turnkey site investigation solutions for the entire preconstruction phase.

To learn more, contact Igne today: / +44 (0) 1634 471 340