FISHERMEN keeping a centuries old trade alive in the Severn Estuary have been landing more than salmon in recent months.

Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery have been working to keep the traditional means of salmon fishing alive for many years.

However, in more recent times they have unearthed items as varied as Second World War munitions, ancient bones and signs of industry past in the river bed.

Fishery secretary Martin Morgan said that his fellow fishermen have been lucky this past year, being within a short walk onto the estuary.

"We have spent more time than usual this year walking the low tide fishing grounds," he said.

"The knowledge built up over decade allow us to do this safely."

Such is the ever-changing nature of the estuary that this knowledge can be life-saving.


It also means that an area which one day offers little of note, will reveal a treasure after a storm moves a stone or a sand bank.

"There have been several finds of a varied nature, the most recent being more than 100 Second World War bombs," said Mr Morgan.

The bombs were discovered just outside of the group's fishing grounds in an area rarely visited.

"Although it is quite common to see the odd bomb case out there, we have never seen such a dense concentration," Mr Morgan said.

The winter storms also uncovered items of a slightly older vintage.

Ancient fish traps and a walkway, preserved in the estuary clay were significant historic finds, offering a glimpse at how the estuary was worked thousands of years ago.

"One of the animals that roamed the valley many years ago was the Aurochs (an ancient type of large cattle) and we were lucky enough to find part of a horn this winter," said Mr Morgan.

Along with these finds were various bottles, clay pipes and an unusual find in the form of a small child's head made out of porcelain.

"All these finds give a glimpse into the past history of this might estuary and the people that have lived, worked and fished before us," said Mr Morgan