AN ANDOVER man has turned a unique hobby into a powerful force for environmental good.

Meet Paul D'Arcy, affectionately known as Magnet Man, who has combined the thrill of treasure hunting with a deep commitment to cleaning up Andover's waterways.

Before the pandemic, 53-year-old Paul was looking at options to become a metal detector, but with restrictions in place, he sought a new pastime.

That's when magnet fishing entered the scene.

"I wanted to go out on my own during the lockdown and clean up the walkways," Paul said.

READ MORE: Andover man discovers 'gun' in Stockholm river

Armed with two powerful magnets - a 500-kilo and a 1700-kilo version - Paul's magnet fishing expeditions aim to remove large debris, from discarded bicycles to guns and even bombs.

"It's good for the environment and good for your mental health," he said.

For Paul, magnet fishing became more than just a hobby; it became a form of therapy.

"I had a stroke during the pandemic, and I lost part of my left side. Magnet fishing helped me build up most of my left side. I’m nearly back to full strength now on both sides," said Paul, highlighting the therapeutic benefits of his unique pastime.

His magnet fishing adventures extend beyond Andover's borders.

In Sweden, he discovered a .357 Magnum, suspected to be linked to the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.

Closer to home, he found a bust of Adolf Hitler in King Arthur's lake and unearthed two bombs and a hand grenade in Salisbury, causing temporary shutdowns in parts of the city.

In Andover, Paul has taken it upon himself to clean all waterways, earning recognition from the community.

His recent retrieval of a large bin from a waterway highlights his commitment to the community.

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Addressing concerns about the items retrieved, Paul said littering is becoming a bigger problem for the environment.

"I scrap anything that I can scrap or if it's small things like cans I just put them in the bin. It is better than being in the water."

"We've got such lovely water here, and it's a lot cleaner since I've been here."

Despite a desire to explore magnet fishing in other countries, Paul faces hurdles with his health limitations post-stroke and restrictions for carrying magnets by airlines.

For those interested in keeping up with Paul's magnet fishing adventures and environmental initiatives, he encourages following him on social media channels (@magnetmanbrit) and on YouTube (@magnetmanuk).

Or visit his website: