A MAGNET fisher was responsible for finding the items that led to a police cordon being set up near Ashley Road this afternoon. 

Police cordoned off areas of Fisherton Recreation Ground at around 12 noon, near the River Avon

Magnet fisher Paul D’Arcy, who is from Andover but lives in Salisbury now, called the police just after discovering what Wiltshire Police described as "suspected historic munitions".

One was exploded while the other was mostly intact but damaged.

Paul, who has been magnet fishing for six years and is known internationally for having discovered the gun believed to have been used to assassinate Swedish prime minister Olof Palme in 1986.

Soon after hauling the bombs out of the water, Paul posted pictures of them to the Facebook group Dippers Identify.

Paul said: “So you post it on there, and they say, ‘Yep, call the bomb squad,’ because I thought the first one looked like a motorbike exhaust.”

The bombs were identified as being World War II-era, but the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team attended the scene and found that the items contained no explosive material, and that there was no risk to the public.

Paul said: “It’s not the first time I’ve found bombs. I knew these weren’t missile bombs, they’re smoke bombs.”

The discovery brings the total number of bombs Paul has found during his six years of magnet fishing to four.

The other two were in Sweden, where Paul lived for two years. He also found a gun in the same stretch of river earlier that day.