The Bomb Disposal Unit was called to a farm near Warminster on Monday after a Second World War hand grenade was found by an amateur metal detectorist.

The type 36 pineapple grenade, which had no pin, was found in a field on Punch Bowl Bottom Farm in Chitterne Road, Codford.

Farm owners Greg Puddy, 55, and his wife Carola, 50, said they have found a number of similar weapons on the farm since 1970.

Mr Puddy said: “The metal detector man comes round once in a while to all the local farms and has found thimbles, army badges and buttons and a few coins, but he’s never found a grenade.

“Because the farm is on old army ground we’ve found a few weapons over the past 30 years.

“We’ve had three hand grenades blow up and a few 4lb or 5lb shells.

“The last one we had was a hand grenade about three or four years ago.

“Once it’s happened a few times you realise that they don’t tend to blow up on their own so you don’t worry too much but you have to be careful.

“I have heard stories where farmers have got into trouble with hand grenades and shells that have been found so we call in the experts to dispose of them.”

Sgt Paul Harvey, of Warminster police, was the first officer on the scene and was given the honour of pressing the button to blow the grenade up.

He said: “I attended and could see it was a pineapple grenade so I called in the EOD (Explosive Ordanance Disposal) team and they came and blew it up there in the field.

“They even let me press the button – it was good boy’s stuff really. It was a big bang. It was full of TNT which is quite stable but they couldn’t take the risk so they dug a hole and blew it up.”

Inspector for Warminster and Westbury, Dave Minty, added: “We get a few of these a year because of Salisbury Plain being so close we often find things from there.

“I remember about three years ago when they found a Second World War shell in the middle of Warminster.

“The bomb disposal team told me to land our helicopters because they weren’t sure how big the explosion would be.”