A SUSPICIOUS object which prompted the closure of Chesil Beach turned out to be an old boiler lid.

The beach was cordoned off near the Chesil Beach Centre for a few hours today and the bomb squad called in after the object, which looked like a landmine, was discovered in the shingle.

Investigations revealed it to be a piece of metal, thought to be an old boiler lid.

The beach was cordoned off near the Chesil Beach Centre off Portland Beach Road after the alarm was raised about 11.30am.

Police officers attended the scene to ensure people didn’t go near the beach.

A Royal Navy bomb disposal team from Portsmouth were called.

Police have now said it is a piece of metal and teams were stood down.

Police took advice from navy experts who studied a photograph of the object.

Roger Moody, a volunteer at the Chesil Bank and Fleet Nature Reserve, stumbled upon the device after being out on the beach looking for birds.

He said: “I came up on the top of the ridge and low and behold I saw this round disc shape, which looked a little bit like a landmine.

“My first port of call was to go to the coastguard. They put me on to the police and the police turned up and closed the beach.”

He added: “The shape of it is round. It looks like a landmine. It’s about 18 inches, two feet across. In the middle of it is a disc that can be removed.

“We don’t know the age of it. There are markings on it with ‘something on Tees’ but it’s so badly worn we actually can’t read the writing.”

Mr Moody was thanked by police for exercising caution and raising the alarm

He said: “It’s better to be safe than sorry.

“They think that because it has the words ‘on-Tees’ on it that it's from a shipbuilding area and there’s a possibly that it could have come from the wreck of a ship.”

A Dorset Police spokesman said: "At 11.34am, Dorset Police received a call about an item, what is believed to be some sort of ordnance object, on the banks of Chesil Beach.

“The EOD have been asked to attend and a cordon has been put in place.”

She added: “They have checked the object and found that it’s not a bomb; it’s a piece of metal.”