A WORLD War Two artillery shell was exploded off the banks of the Severn today.

Bomb disposal experts were called to Chepstow on Monday after members of the coastguard discovered a World War Two artillery shell.

A five-strong team of volunteers from the Chepstow Coastguard were carrying out a routine patrol of the shoreline around 3pm when they spotted the five-inch diameter shell near the lifeboat slipway at Beachley Point.

They immediately cleared the area and shut off the road until the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal team arrived around 3.30pm.

They had to wait for the tide to go out and recovered the shell around 4.45pm before carrying out a controlled explosion.

Mervyn Fleming, commander of the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) team, said this was the second shell the team had discovered within 12 months.

He said the Severn estuary was used for artillery training during the Second World War so it was no surprise explosives were still being found.

He said: "It’s probably been there for around 70 years. They [the bomb disposal unit] were very careful moving it. We had to make sure the whole road was closed and then they took it in their special van and blew it up.

"You never know what you are going to find when you are out patrolling."