Shropshire's British Ironwork Centre making 'stingers' to stop Russian forces in their tracks
A Shropshire metal work centre is stepping up its efforts to help the people of Ukraine, by using its expertise to make puncture devices aimed at preventing Russian vehicles getting into the war-torn country.
But is appealing for help to find raw materials and skilled tradespeople.
The British Ironwork Centre, near Oswestry, has been collecting aid for Ukraine since the Russia conflict began.
The visitor attraction has sent second-hand medical equipment, wellington boots, gloves, hats, thermals, warm and waterproof clothing, toys and tents.
Now though, the centre has been asked to provide puncture caltrops - a type of steel stinger aimed at bursting the tyres of military vehicles.
Clive Knowles, chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, says the hand-forged devices are set to be placed across roads in Ukraine to stop vehicles belonging to Russian forces, but he said they are in need of donations of metal so that they can produce the caltrops.
He said: "We have been collecting for Ukraine for over a year now, and were asked if we could build some metal work into the deliveries.
"These caltrops are purely defensive items to prevent Russian vehicles from entering Ukraine. We have also been asked to make staples that help keep the wood together in trenches."
He said the caltrops are placed across roads in the hope that they stop Russian forces from taking more of the country by force, and added that the centre was hoping to produce around 1,000 pieces each of the caltrops and the staples, but it was in need of raw materials and help.
"In order for us to provide significant amounts, we need donations of reinforcing bar or steel rod. We are also in need of chain - it doesn't matter how dilapidated the metal is, we can use it."
He said they are also appealing to blacksmiths and welders throughout the UK to help produce the metal work for Ukraine.
"We have thousands of members now and as a centre we can only do so much and certainly not enough for the amount the Ukraine forces are going to need, so we are calling on our members and any blacksmiths, forges and welders can join us in this effort, it would really help."
He added: "We will be providing drawings illustrating the sizes and desired lengths. Each run is approximately six metres, connected by heavy chain."
Anybody who can help is advised to contact the British Ironwork Centre on 01691 610952