BOMB disposal experts were called to a village near Alresford after more than 40 grenades were unearthed in a back garden.

The phosphorous grenades, which dated from the Second World War, were dug up in the garden of a house at Petersfield Road in Bramdean.

They were destroyed in a controlled explosion carried by a team from the military.

Winchester police have moved to reassure anyone who heard a loud bang in the Bramdean area yesterday evening.

Posting on social media they said: "If you live in, or were travelling through, the area at around 7.40pm and heard a large explosion let us put you mind at rest.

"It was a military bomb disposal team safely carrying out a controlled explosion on some World War II grenades dug up in a back garden.

"In all just over 45 of the phosphorous grenades around the size of a milk bottle were located in the garden on Petersfield Road.

"They have now been disposed of. No one was hurt in the incident."

Several people have taken to social media to describe the incident.

One person posted: "I wondered what was going on. There were police, fire engines and ambulances. We live just up the road but didn't hear the explosion."

Another added: "Not much happens in Hinton Ampner and Bramdean bjut when it happens it really happens."

Winchester police have also been patrolling the Highcliffe area of the city following reports of wheelie bins and salt bins being set on fire.

A police spokesperson said: "This type of behaviour is reckless and irresponsible and can ultimately cost lives.

"Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police by reporting online, by phoning 101 or in an emergency 999."