A man has been fined for allowing his nuclear bunker on a nature reserve to become untidy.

At Chelmsford Magistrates Court on June 28 Raymond Sturgess was convicted of failing to comply with a notice requiring him to remove building materials, waste, household items plastic items, plastic and card from the former Royal Observer Corps site in Chigwell.

The site is in the Roding Valley Nature Reserve and next to the M11 motorway.

He bought the 13ft by 9ft bunker - which was built between the late 1950s and early 1960s as part of a network of 1,500 Cold War monitoring stations - for £20,000 in an auction in 2015, 34 years after it was decommissioned.

At the time, the property speculator told The Mirror of his plans to turn it into a study centre for his four children.

He said: "You couldn't get a better location - it's a once in a lifetime find and I seized it.

"It will enhance their education enormously, particularly with its location out in the countryside, overlooked by nothing but fields and beautiful scenery - it's just what the vicar ordered.

"The kids have had many distractions in the past that have affected or restricted their studying and revision but here they can be truly by themselves."

On February 13 this year Mr Sturgess was ordered to clear the visually unappealing rubbish, but had not done so by March 16.

Having pleaded guilty, Mr Sturgess argued in mitigation that he was unable to remove the rubbish due to an injured knee.

The Stanford Court, Waltham Abbey resident claimed he was renovating the bunker for use by his children and that it had been broken into by vandals.

He also said fly-tippers had dumped rubbish on the site.

Despite a promise to fence off the land in the next few weeks, Magistrates were unconvinced by his argument.

He was made to pay a total of £430.

Future failure to comply with the notice renders Mr Sturgess liable to further prosecution with a possible fine of up to £100 for every day from June 28, 2018 that he does not comply.