The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a £1.5-million contract to Brimstone Site Investigation Ltd to remove unexploded ordnance (UXO) from Mappleton Beach at former air weapons range, RAF Cowden.
RAF Cowden was used as a bombing range from 1959 to 1998. Over the years it has been subject to extensive coastal erosion which leaves UXO on the beach. To date, UXO has been removed by the Royal Air Force and British Army with minimum disruption.
Preliminary work started on 1 February and DIO has engaged with local authorities, landowners, councils and organisations including the Ramblers to make the public aware of clearance activities. To minimise the potential impact on the public and address any concerns, DIO will monitor noise levels and engage with Natural England to ensure environmental licenses are in place and assessments have been carried out.
The site will be regularly monitored and cleared of UXO by Brimstone Site Investigation Ltd over the course of up to four years. Signs and red flags will warn the visiting public when activities are taking place and which area of the beach is closed.
Adell Vass, DIO’s Head of Regional Delivery Central said:
We are pleased to announce the award of this contract to Brimstone Site Investigation Ltd and look forward to working with them.
The safety of the public is our first priority. Warning signs have been placed and red flags will be visible when activity is taking place. Unexploded ordnance is dangerous, and the public are reminded to adhere to the warning signs and not pick up or remove any objects as it could cause serious injury.
Aaron Florence, Managing Director from Brimstone Site Investigation Ltd said:
This marks a pivotal moment in defence engagement, the very first time DIO has awarded a long-term contract for clearing explosive ordnance on public land to a commercial organisation. Brimstone’s success during the tender process is testament to our deeply dedicated and skilled team. Bringing to bear decades of military and commercial explosive ordnance disposal expertise, novel technology, and unbridled commitment to the local Cowden community.
Brimstone is delighted to engage with DIO’s specialist teams to deliver a first-class service in land remediation and threat reduction and we stand poised to begin this next chapter with DIO and the MOD. Our innovative approach in using drone technology, machine learning, and other technical solutions stand us apart.
Precautions have been put in place to ensure the safety of the workforce. Staff and contractors on site are following the latest government and social distancing guidelines to help protect against Coronavirus.
The public are advised not to touch or pick up any items of UXO. If you find any UXO or witness a member of the public handling UXO, please report it by calling 999 or speaking to a member of the Brimstone staff on site.