Suspect WW2 bomb amongst 2018 finds

litter picking on the Liverpool loopline

The Liverpool Loopline litter pickers go out every Tuesday. Elaine O'Callaghan (left) was voted Volunteer of the Year for the North of England.

suspect WW2 bomb on the Liverpool Loopline

The suspected World War Two bomb turned out to be a harmless metal canister

5 February 2019

One discovery stands out amongst the usual drinks cans, crisp packets and takeaway boxes in our volunteer group’s records of 800 bin bags of litter picked on the Liverpool Loop Line in 2018: Nestled in the undergrowth on the popular cycling and walking route volunteer Tony Birtill found what he thought could be unexploded bomb from World War Two.

The rusty item was around 50cm in length and located at a tunnel entrance where the route passes under Walton Vale in Liverpool 9. He called the police and the area was closed off so bomb experts could remove the suspect bomb safely.

Tony said: “We are told to report suspicious items we come across so I rang the police and they responded quickly when I told them that it looked like an old bomb. There was no sign of any paint on it and it looked as if it had been buried for some years as it had moss growing on the top of it.

“The police said I had done the right thing in contacting them and they immediately taped off the area so that cyclists and walkers could not pass by. It turned out that the bomb was actually a harmless metal canister!”

The Liverpool Loop Line is a former railway line. The current cycle and walking route runs 13 miles between Halewood and Aintree and is also part of the Trans Pennine Trail.

Liverpool Loop Line volunteers meet every Tuesday morning to keep the popular route free of litter. Group coordinator Elaine O’Callaghan has just received our Volunteer of the Year in the North of England. Elaine said the group is always looking for new recruits to help keep the path tidy and well-maintained for everyone to enjoy:

 “The Liverpool Loop Line is a beautiful traffic-free path, which allows people of all ages to walk or cycle in a peaceful environment. People often forget it’s there but it offers a great way to travel around the city away from cars. We’re a really friendly group who love the outdoors and want to look after this local community space. We always need more people to help so if you have some spare hours on a Tuesday morning and would like to join us please get in touch.”

The Liverpool Loop Line is owned and managed by our Northern team, with the help of volunteers. Sustrans created the National Cycle Network – 16,575 miles of walking and cycle routes, including many traffic free paths, and works to help more people walk and cycle everyday journeys.

Find out more about volunteering with Sustrans at or find Sustrans Liverpool Loop Line volunteers on Facebook