IN 2014, a Somerset walker "got the shock of her life" when her dog unearthed what seemed to be a grenade on the beach.

Fortunately, the shock quickly gave way to relief when Beverley Milner Simonds realised the Burnham beach find was a toy rather than an unexploded wartime remnant.

Ms Milner Simonds was playing fetch with her Jack Russell, named Thatcher, when she saw the animal had started unearthing something on the beach.

Speaking at the time, she said: “I was walking our puppy, Thatcher, along the beach in Burnham when I got the shock of my life.

Weston Mercury: Thatcher with the 'grenade'. Thatcher with the 'grenade'. (Image: Tom Campbell Photography/NQ archives)

“She had been happily chasing her ball when she got distracted in amongst some debris on the high water mark.

“I went over to get the ball and saw what looked like a hand grenade - which Thatcher was trying to dig up.

“For a moment I feared for my life. It was just blind panic. I threw her in the opposite direction when I saw it and then noticed the crack down the side and realised it was a toy.”

Ms Milner Simonds, who volunteered for the coastguard as a rescue officer, said the experience served as a warning to people who do find real unexploded items buried in the ground.

She added: “If you discover things like that, the first priority is to call 999 and ask for the coastguard on the beach – don’t play fetch with it.”