The coiled metal spikes are thought to be anti-tank devices more than 60 years old.

The spikes being excavated from the pebble ridge.The spikes being excavated from the pebble ridge.

TWO tonnes of coiled spikes, thought to be anti-tank devices, have been removed from a section of Northam Burrows's Pebble Ridge.

The recent high tides had exposed the coils and were thought to be erected at that location more than 60 years ago because of the natural gap in the sand dunes.

Shawn Corin, senior ranger on the Burrows, said: "The spikes were first exposed back in 2007 but before we had a chance to remove any, the Pebble Ridge had swallowed them up again.

"This time we've managed to remove the majority of them - about two tonnes worth.

"The coils would have ripped off the tracks from any tanks rendering them immobile, and the many vertical uncoiled spikes we found would have been connected together using barbed wire, presumably to deter any infantry."

Some of the coiled spikes recovered will be given to the North Devon Museum and the rest will go for scrap.

Torridge District Council's lead member for the natural and built environment Councillor Gaye Tabor said: "It's fascinating the secrets Northam Burrows is still withholding from us.

"It's such a wonderful natural resource for Torridge, enjoyed by people of all ages, and never fails to amaze."