October 4, 2017 4.27 pm This story is over 72 months old

Stunned residents say children often play in woodland where mustard gas canisters found

Two people have been arrested.

Residents in Woodhall Spa have told reporters how scouts and children frequent local woodland where dangerous mustard gas canisters were unearthed this weekend.

As reported previously, two bottle diggers were taken to hospital for treatment of burns and minor respiratory issues on Sunday, October 1 after they disturbed two World War Two mustard gas canisters.

A man and a woman from Lincoln have been arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a noxious substance. They are currently being questioned by police.

Roughton Woods, off Kirkby Lane near Woodhall Spa has been cordoned off since Sunday, October 1.

The woodland area is also the home to a scout camp, and one resident wanted to ensure that the local scouts will not be impacted in the future.

“We really don’t want to see the scout camp harmed after the incident,” said Christine Ramsey, 74, who lives across the road from the woods.

“The scouts regularly have night sessions and full weekends in the wood here and I hope for this to still continue.

“Police are doing a fantastic job and they were on the scene very quickly.

“This has been our family home and we’ve not seen much like this, however 40 years agony children found used machine-gun bullets, however nothing harmful has been found here before.”

Photo: Guy Owen for Lincolnshire Reporter

An elderly male resident in his 70s, who did not wished to be named, told Lincolnshire Reporter: “I know that a lot of children play in the woods during the summer holidays and many people in the village walk their dogs too.

“It’s very strange to hear that something like this has been laying around the woods all of this time, especially back in those days people didn’t leave things laying about, everyone cleaned up after themselves.

“I walked my dog in the woods on Sunday morning, however I hear that people were metal detecting in there.”

It is believed that the mustard gas canisters have been in situ since the site was an operational air base, formerly known as RAF Woodhall Spa.

The canisters were taken to Porton Down, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, where the substance was confirmed to be mustard gas.

Police are working with other emergency services, military and health partners to ensure the safety of the area and to establish if further canisters are present.