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Harper Calls for Dyke Safety Inspection

The SNP MSP has also requested an alternative to high-order detonation

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By Ben Murray
Dumfries and West
Harper Calls for Dyke Safety Inspection

SOUTH Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper has continued to call for a safety assessment of Beaufort’s Dyke.

This is due to the steadily increasing number of unexploded ammunition that repeatedly washes ashore on the Dumfries and Galloway coastline.

The MSP has been calling for the safety assessment since 2019, and the most recent one came after her criticisms on the disruptive impact of high-order detonation.

The Dyke is a natural deep water trench located in the North channel of the Irish Sea between Ireland and Portpatrick in South West Scotland. The deep water trench was used to dump unexploded weapons in the sea after the second world war.

According to the Ministry of Defence, over 50,000 tons of explosives have been disposed of in the Dyke. In 1945 alone, 14,500 tonnes of artillery rockets were dumped.

Emma Harper MSP commented; “Increasing development in the marine environment is leading to the discovery of a greater number of unexploded munitions.

“Although exact figures aren’t available, the coastguard and royal navy bomb disposal unit have reported that the number of unexploded ordnance washing ashore is increasing.

“It is widely understood that at the end of the second world war – instead of taking the surplus unexploded munitions to Beaufort’s Dyke – which was an approved offloading site – often the weapons were dumped closer to shore to save money and time.

“It is therefore little wonder that we are now discovering more unexploded ordnance washing ashore.

“Previously, I wrote to the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Defence to ask that a full safety assessment be carried out of Beaufort’s Dyke, so people across South West Scotland can be reassured.

“I have had no response from the UK Ministers and I have asked the Scottish Government to intervene.”

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