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Woodhall Spa - Contaminated Land

This page is to keep the community and interested parties up to date with our work, and that of our partners, following the recent discovery of Mustard Gas in woodland at Kirkby Lane, Woodhall Spa. Our role (with partners) is to ensure the site, which is contaminated land, is safe for people and the environment.

Update - 16 October 2017 (5pm)

Refuse collections

Our refuse crews visited Kirkby Lane today to empty the wheeled bins that couldn't be reached on Friday due to the road closure.

Decontamination of the site where the Mustard Gas was found

We have today met with the Ministry of Defence to discuss the decontamination process and the next steps.

In the meantime, an area within the woodland remains fenced with a security presence in place.

We are asking the community to continue avoiding the woodland at this time.

We thank the community for their continued patience.

This photograph shows some of the teams on site last week.  It was taken by Inspector Baker of Lincolnshire Police.

Roughton Woods
Roughton Woods


Update - 13 October 2017 (1pm)

Latest update from Superintendent Phil Vickers, who hands over the recovery phase of the incident to Stuart Davy, the District Council's Chief Executive.

Bin Collections - Kirkby Lane, Woodhall Spa

Due to the Police corden, we apologise we have not been able to collect bins from some properties on Kirkby Lane. Please present bins on Monday October 16 when our crews will revisit to collect.


Update - 13 October 2017 (11.30am)

Thank you to those who attended the meeting last night at the Petwood Hotel.  We hope you found the content useful/helpful. 

The community is asked to avoid the woodland area concerned and it remains cordoned off at this time.  There is still a need for the area where the ammunition was found to be fully decontaminated, although the items found on site have been safely removed from site.  The site is safe if left undisturbed but an area will be fenced off (with a security presence) for a period of time whilst site surveys and decontamination takes place.  Don't be concerned by this.  We will only be fencing a relatively small area.

The Police have provided this photograph of one of the canisters recovered from Stixwould lake by Royal Navy divers.  The lake has now been handed back to the owner and no contamination was found - all 10 canisters were recovered and are intact.

Mustard Gas Cannister

 Mustard Gas Cannister
Mustard Gas Cannister








BBC Look North broadcast on 12 October


Update - 10 October, 2017


I'd like to invite you to attend a public meeting to be held at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa on the evening of Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 6.30pm, to update the community in regard to the recent discovery of Mustard Gas in woodland off Kirkby Lane.

At the meeting the Army, Police and District Council will all provide updates and details of next steps in addressing the issue of contaminated land.

There will also be the chance for you to ask questions.  If attendance on the evening is greater than the room's capacity (120) we may run more than one meeting that evening (one after another).

I do hope you can attend the meeting and look forward to seeing you on the evening.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Davy
Chief Executive


On Sunday October 1 a number of canisters were found by people bottle digging in an area known as Ostler Plantation in Roughton Woods, Woodhall Spa. The items were removed and tests at the scene indicated that the area should be considered safe to re-open to the public. The canisters were  sent to Porton Down, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, to identify what they contained and it was latterly confirmed that the substance inside contained Mustard Gas. As soon as this was confirmed the area was cordoned off (on Tuesday 3 October) as a matter of public safety.

Nobody has been seriously injured; two people who found the canisters were taken to hospital the next day and received treatment for burns and minor respiratory problems, but they later returned home. 

Three people were arrested in connection with this incident on suspicion of possession of a noxious substance. They have since been released on police bail and remain so until 25 October.

A number of areas have been searched in connection with this inquiry, including areas of Longdales Road and locations in Stixwould. Work is still ongoing to ensure that these areas are completely safe before they are reopened to the public. 

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