BOMB disposal experts were called to the Ribble Valley after a live hand grenade was found in a field.

James and Brian Taylor discovered the device, identified as a Second World War Mills Bomb by experts, while out searching for treasure with their metal detectors.

The father and son duo, from Chorley, called police after making the unusual find in a field off Preston Road, near Ribchester on Sunday.

When officers arrived shortly after 5.30pm they set up a 100m cordon as a precaution.

Brian, 50, a member of Bolton and District Prospectors Club, said he and his dad James, 75, didn’t realise it was a grenade until they started digging it up.

He said: “We heard the detector go off and we started digging.

“We then suddenly realised it was a grenade after we had touched it on several occasions.

“Once we realised what it was we put it to one side and called the police.”

However bomb disposal experts were unable to attend the scene until 7am yesterday. (MONDAY).

Police secured the site and shortly after 7am the bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion of the hand grenade.

Brian said: “One of the plates was missing on the grenade and you could see and smell the gunpowder from inside.

“It’s amazing that it hadn’t gone off and just sat there all those years.

“I’ve found some interesting things in my time, I once found a Viking pendent which was quite unusual.”

Dr Nick Mansfield, a senior researcher in history at the UCLan said the grenade could have been associated with the Home Guard, and was in general issue by the end of the Second World War.

A police spokesman said: “Officers were called at 5.30pm to a field in Preston Road near Ribchester where a hand grenade was found.

“A 110-yard perimeter was made around the device and was securely disposed of by a controlled explosion yesterday 7am."

“Due to its rural location, no one was evacuated in the nearby area.”