BEACHES were closed off when suspected explosives were found.

Police set up safety cordons and closed beaches between Birling Gap and Cow Gap, near Beachy Head after the discovery of several explosive items along the shore on Saturday afternoon.

They are thought to include a Second World War sea mine used to destroy shipping. So people were warned by police "to stay well away while military Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts deal with the situation."

The devices were reported shortly after 4pm on Saturday (15 June ) and police, coastguards and Royal National Lifeboat Institution personnel have combined to clear the immediate area before the explosives were found to be inert.

Inspector Alex Campbell, of Sussex Police said: " Clearly there is an element of curiosity but these items were potentially very dangerous. So we asked people to help us by staying well away from the area so that emergency services could work as quickly and efficiently as possible to neutralise any threat."

A police spokesman later said: "Following checks by explosive ordnance disposal experts called to examine the discoveries all items were found to be inert. Safety cordons were removed and police would like to thank anyone inconvenienced for their patience and understanding while risks were assessed."