Guidance

Public access to military areas

Information about public access to military owned land.

Overview

Location details, opportunities and restrictions for accessing military owned land in the United Kingdom.

It is important to read the information safety before accessing a military site. In addition further information on access restrictions can be found on the MOD byelaws page and the firing notices.

Locations in East England

Barton Road

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Barton Road, Southwest Cambridge, between Barton and Comberton.

Location

Southwest of Cambridge, between Barton and Comberton.

Site Description

This site is a small Rifle Range, in the undulating countryside of Cambridgeshire.

Access Opportunities

A small network of public rights of way, including the locally promoted Whitwell Way, (which is open at all times) connect the local villages across fields.

The training area is used for live firing. Red flags are flown during the day and red lamps are lit at night during firing periods at which time access is prohibited to the Range Danger Area.

Further Information from…

Contact the Commandant 01206 736149

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 154 (Cambridge, Newmarket & Surrounding Area)1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 209 (Cambridge, Royston, Duxford & Linton) 1:25,000

Beckingham training area

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Beckingham training area, East of Newark-on-Trent, near the villiage of Beckingham.

Location

East of Newark-on-Trent, near the village of Beckingham.

Site Description

An area of grassland lying in the floodplain of the River Witham where the waterlogged fields in winter and sympathetic management has resulted in a rich variety of wild plants. In addition to enjoying the plants you will also find a wide range of insects and some interesting birds. The site is adjacent to Stapleford Wood.

Access Opportunities

There is a network of public rights of way mainly in the western area of the site.

The Training Area is used for live firing. There is no access at any time to the live firing Danger Area.

Further Information from…

Live firing notices are issued to local parishes and the police. For further information, contact the Range Office on 01636 626367.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 121 (Lincoln & Surrounding Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 271 (Newark-on-Trent: Retford, Southwell & Saxilby) 1:25,000

Fingringhoe ranges

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Fingringhoe ranges, South of Colchester, in the Colne Estuary.

South of Colchester, in the Colne Estuary

Site Description

This is a remote area, south of Colchester, with much of the site below sea level, consisting of reclaimed wetland and marsh. The site extends out into the Colne Estuary, renowned as one of Essex’s prettiest estuaries, with attractive waterside communities and contrasting landscapes of woodland, fields and marshes.

The marshland area of Fingringhoe Ranges is part of the Colne Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is also designated a Ramsar site and a Special Protection Area (SPA). There is a Nature Reserve to the north east of the site.

Access Opportunities

A public right of way follows the northern and western boundaries of the site.

The training area is used for live firing. There is no access to the Range Danger Area.

Further Information from…

Contact the commandant on 01206 736149.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 168 (Colchester & The Blackwater Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 184 (Colchester) 1:25,000

Middlewick ranges & Friday Woods training area

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Middlewick ranges & Friday Woods training area on the southern perimeter of Colchester.

Location

On the southern perimeter of Colchester.

Site Description

Colchester is a large garrison town. Middlewick Ranges and Friday Woods Training Area are to the south of the town and include both live firing Ranges and areas used for dry training, not involving live firing.

The areas are a mixture of woodland, arable cropping and grassland, incorporating Donyland Woods. Some of the land is designated as part of the Roman River Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Access Opportunities

Public rights of way, including footpaths and bridleways, run through parts of the Ranges and Training Area.

The Range area is used for live firing. Red flags are flown during day and red lamps are lit at night during live firing periods during which time access is prohibited to the live firing Range Danger Area.

The Friday Woods Dry Training Area is a very popular area for local dog walkers. Please see “Related pages/documents” on the right for details of a walk around Friday Woods.

Further Information from…

Contact the Commandant on 01206 736149.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 168 (Colchester & The Blackwater Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 184 (Colchester) 1:25,000

Watton Brook

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Watton Brook, Norfolk.

Location

Site Description

Stanford training area consists of almost 11000 hectares of heath, woodland and farmland used for a wide range of army training activities, including live firing.

Access Opportunities

For a walk along a brook, through a meadow and a small willow Carr please see “Related pages/documents” for details around Watton Brook.

Access is not allowed when the red flags situated at each end of the walk are flying. It is therefore advisable to check the access times with the Range Control prior to a visit to the area.

Further Information from…

For information on access times call 01842 855235 (Manned 0800am -1600 Monday - Friday, excluding public holidays

OS Map Reference

OS Landranger Sheet 144 (1: 50 000) OS Exporer Sheet 229 and 236 (1:25000)

Location in the Midlands

Kingsbury Ranges

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Kingsbury Ranges in North Warwickshire.

Location

In North Warwickshire, 4 miles south of Tamworth, near the villages of Piccadilly, Kingsbury and Wood End.

Site Description

The landscape of the Rifle Ranges at Kingsbury is gently undulating, with areas of grassed over spoil heaps, a relict of historic coal mining activity, and Kingsbury Wood, a broad leaved/mixed woodland which has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Access Opportunities

There are two footpaths in the south east of the area, and the area north of the tramway contains two other public footpaths. These are outside the Range Danger Area and are accessible at all times.

When the Ranges are used for live firing, red flags are flown.

Further Information from…

Live firing notices are issued to local police stations, post offices and residents who wish to be informed.

For further information on live firing times contact the booking cell during office hours on Tel: 01785 763159 or 01785 763132.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 139 (Birmingham & Surrounding Area) 1:50,000

OS Landranger Sheet 140 (Leicester & Coventry Area) 1:50,000

OS Explorer Sheet 232 (Nuneaton & Tamworth) 1:25,000

Leek and Upper Hulme

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Leek and Upper Hulme in North Staffordshire.

Location

In north Staffordshire, 5 miles ( 8km) north of Leek, to the east of to the main A53 Leek to Buxton Road.

Site Description

Leek and Upper Hulme Training Area is an upland area, comprising heather moorland and upland pasture on the southern edge of the Peak District National Park (part of the land is leased on a long term basis from the National Park Authority).

The overall aspect is of an open and windswept moor, providing an area of rugged wilderness. Much of the estate is within the Leek Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The bird life of Leek has been given European protection under the South Pennine Moors Special Protection Area. It also contains two Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Access Opportunities

There are about 12 km of public rights of way across the Training Area. The majority are footpaths with one bridleway and one concessionary bridleway across the south eastern extremity of the area. These are accessible at all times. In addition, some managed area access is available in those areas delineated by the managed access symbol on Ordnance Survey Explorer maps.

Walkers are however reminded that this is a military training area and they are asked not to interrupt soldiers training. There is no entry into the Military Danger Area marked with a series of red arrows on Ordnance Survey maps.

Access Restrictions

Leek & Upper Hulme Training Area is covered by local Military Byelaws. Area access, where permitted, is managed under the terms of these Byelaws, which are displayed at the Training Area.

Further Information from…

For further information on live firing times contact the booking cell during office hours on Tel: 01785 763159 or 01785 763132.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 118 (1:50,000) OS Outdoor Leisure Sheet 24 (1:25,000)

Nesscliff training area

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Nesscliff training area in Shropshire.

Location

In Shropshire, immediately west of the A5 trunk road, 9 miles north west of Shrewsbury. The training area is situated near the villages of Nesscliffe and Pentre from which it is clearly signed.

Site Description

Nesscliff Training Area was originally constructed during World War 2 as a Central Ammunition Depot (CAD). It continued in operation until 1959, after which it became an Army Training Area. Today it comprises of some 1717 acres of flat pastureland situated on the western end of the North Shropshire Plain. There are a large number of former ammunition storage buildings extant and the remains of two former military camps, all of which are used for training purposes. The Nesscliiff Training Camp pictured above provides accommodation for up to 530 personnel.

There is a wood in the southern part of the training area, which lies on the training area boundary with the River Severn and is known as the Burning Ground. It takes its name from the decommissioning of ammunition which took place there during the life of the CAD. Today it is fenced, signed and Out of Bounds to everyone for Health and Safety reasons.

Bordered to the south by the River Severn, the landscape of the Training Area is a classic English countryside, consisting of grazing meadows, hedgerows, ditches, ancient woodlands and a large number of grazing livestock. In the northern part of the area there are the remains of a Motte & Bailey Castle known as Belan Bank.

Access Opportunities

There is no general public right of access across the training area. However, a number of public footpaths cross the northern part of the training area. These are accessible at all times (see below). The Severn Way passes through the section of non-MOD Land that separates the two parts of Nesscliff Training Area.

The training area is primarily used for dry training (i.e. no live firing), however there are biannual exercises held which involve the firing of battle simulation charges. During such exercises access over the public footpaths is controlled.

Further Information from…

Further information on access is available from 01743 741607.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 126 (Shrewsbury & Oswestry 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 240 (Oswestry, Chirk, Ellesmere & Pant) 1:25,000

Whittington

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Whittington in Staffordshire.

Location

In Staffordshire, 1 mile east of Lichfield near to Whittington Barracks.

Site Description

The area consists of Rifle Ranges, and mixed broad leaved woodland which extends eastwards to the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and the River Tame.

Access Opportunities

Four lengths of bridleway cross the Ranges, including the wood. Red flags are flown during live firing periods at which time access is prohibited to the three bridleways within the wood.

One of the key entry points to the woodland is off the A51, where there is ample car parking and a bus stop.

Live firing notices are issued to the local police stations, post offices and residents who wish to be informed.

Further Information from…

For further information on live firing times contact the booking cell on 01785 763159.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 139 (Birmingham & Surrounding Area) 1:50,000 OS Landranger Sheet 140 (Leicester & Coventry Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer 232 (Nuneaton & Tamworth) 1:25,000


Locations in the North of England

Catterick training area

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for the Catterick training area located on the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

Location

Catterick Training Area is located on the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales, south of the market town of Richmond.

Site Description

The area’s military history dates from as far back as 1798. Later, General Lord Baden-Powell, based in Richmond from 1908 to 1910, was tasked by the War Office to establish a military Training Area in the north of England, and he chose Catterick. Its status as a permanent Training Centre was secured in 1921 and a period of intensive building followed. The land comprising the current Training Area was acquired between 1921 and 1985.

In conjunction with military training, Catterick Training Area is predominantly used for extensive livestock grazing, while the better in-bye land is farmed more intensively for hay, silage and arable crops. The Ranges also have numerous archaeological remains, including 36 Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

The Training Area is the home of abundant wild life including some rare species of plants and animals. There are two areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Access Opportunities

There are a number of public rights of way across Catterick Training Area, including a part of the Coast to Coast long distance route.

A walk on the Catterick Training Area is detailed in the “Related pages/documents” link on the right.

Most of the walk is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and is on the edge of a Live Firing Range. Access is permitted at all times, including when the red flags are flying as the route stays outside the danger area. Walkers must not leave the route of the public right of way and must follow the safety instructions on site.

Further Information from…

For further information about activity on the Training Area, contact The Range Officer Tel: 01748 875502/875507. Outside normal hours, contact the guardhouse Tel: 01748 875542.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 98 (Wensleydale & Upper Wharfedale) 1:50,000 OS Landranger Sheet 99 (Northallerton & Ripon) 1:50,000 OS Outdoor Leisure Sheet 30 (Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Areas) 1:25,000

Holcombe Moor

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for the Catterick training area located on the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

Location

Holcombe Moor covers approximately 300 hectares of open moorland and woodland near Ramsbottom in Lancashire.

There is an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways across the training area.

The public has access across Holcombe Moor for the majority of the time, with restrictions only in place during periods of live firing. National Trust land surrounding the training area is an urban common to which there is a right of access on foot and on horseback.

Further details

For further details Tel: 01204 882991.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Map Sheet 109. Manchester. Bolton and Warrington.

Otterburn

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Otterburn training area in the Northumberland National Park.

Location

Otterburn Training Area is situated in the Northumberland National Park, approximately 35 miles from the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Site Description

Otterburn Training Area consists of over 22000 hectares of land and is the largest single live firing range in the UK. Some 30,000 soldiers use the area each year.

The training area covers 23% of the National Park and consists of rolling uplands forming part of the Cheviot foothills.

Otterburn Training Area has many varied points of interest relating to its historic social land use such as Whiskey Stills and Bastle Houses. The Roman Fortlet at Chew Green and associated marching camps along Dere Street provide visitors with great opportunities to experience the struggles that were once so common in this part of Northumberland.

Upland hay meadows at Barrowburn run alongside the River Coquet. They are at their best in July.

Access Opportunities

There are no restrictions to public access on MOD land north of the River Coquet. This land is designated as Open Access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The remainder of the training area is operated under Military Byelaws, and access is restricted when the area is used for live firing. However, when it is not being used for live firing there are unrivalled opportunities for cycling, riding, walking and climbing or just a drive in the car along the military roads.

When planning a visit to the Otterburn Ranges please check the calendar of firing times published by the Northumberland National Park Authority.

Information Packs relating to public access are available from National Park Visitor Information Points or can be requested from Otterburn Training Area. One walk can be seen on the related link on the right of the page. There is also a dedicated website for the Otterburn Area which can be accessed using the related link to the right.

Safety

Otterburn Training Area is used for live firing. Red flags are flown/red lamps are lit during live firing periods. At these times access is restricted. Please observe any warning signs you come across.

Further Information from…

For further information relating to public access and live firing times contact Otterburn Range Control on 01830 520569 or look at the Otterburn Ranges Website - link on right hand side of page.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 80 (Cheviot Hills & Kielder Forest Area) 1:50,000 OS Outdoor Leisure Sheet 16 (The Cheviot Hills) 1:25,000

Warcop

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for the Warcop Training Area (WTA) within the North Pennines.

Location

Warcop Training Area (WTA) is situated within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is easily accessed from the A66, 5km east of Appleby and 2km west of Brough.

Site Description

Warcop Training Area (WTA) extends to some 9700 hectares and over two thirds of this area forms part of the Appleby Fells Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The SSSI is known for its blanket bog, limestone pavements, calcareous grassland and alpine and sub-alpine plants. This area also forms part of the North Pennine Moors Special Protection Area, and Moorhouse and Upper Teesdale Special Area of Conservation which are internationally recognised designations. The site has 16 scheduled ancient monuments ranging from Neolithic burial mounds to medieval villages and a wide range of wildlife including red squirrel, great crested newt, black grouse, and the geyer’s whorl snail.

Over the past few years, considerable time, effort and resources have been directed at developing the natural habitat on WTA, with particular emphasis being given to the management of SSSI and habitat improvements for rare species. The work undertaken on Warcop has recently been recognised by English Nature who has awarded the WTA management team with the prestigious “SSSI Award” for its management of the Appleby Fells and Helbeck SSSIs.

Access Opportunities

Warcop Training Area is a live MOD range which is used six and a half days a week predominately by the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick. It is also used by various other regular and Territorial Army units of the British Army. Access opportunities on the Training Area, can be summarised as:  Access to public rights of way in the Danger Area every Sunday afternoon after 1pm  Access to public rights of way in the Danger Area for 12 weekends a year. These are detailed in the related link on access times on the right hand side of the page  Access to WTA through a range of guided walks (contact Clare Hetherington on 017683 43227 for further information)  Access to public rights of way in the Danger Area on at least 15 short notice days. Due to their very nature, these dates can not be published very far in advance. However the Warcop freephone access answer machine (0800 7835181) does hold details of the firing programme 7 days in advance and is updated daily  Access to Mickle Fell is available (subject to training, high fire risk etc) on a permit system only. Applications should be sent to the Range Officer, Warcop Training Area, Warcop, Appleby, Cumbria, CA16 6PA  Access to Area Victor (including Murton Pike and Murton Fell) under the CROW Act 2000

Further Information

Live firing notices are issued to the local libraries and youth hostels and are published in the local paper. For further information on live firing times contact Tel: 0800 783 5181.

OS Map References

OS Landranger sheet 19: Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley

Scotland

Barry Buddon

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Barry Buddon training area on the Tay Estuary between Carnoustie and Monifieth.

Location

Barry Buddon Training Area covers 930 hectares of coastal plain on the Tay Estuary between Carnoustie and Monifieth.

Site Description

The site has a number of firing ranges for small arms training, and areas used for dry training (non-live firing).

A vast array of wildlife can be seen on Barry Buddon. Most of the training area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and an EU Special Area of Conservation (SAC), as well as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for its bird populations.

The area provides a haven for wintering waders such as bar-tailed godwit, sanderling and eider duck whilst the plentiful sea buckthorn berries provide food for fieldfares and redwings. In summer months, abundant skylarks, meadow pipits, linnets and stonechats use the dunes as shelter or nest sites.

Access opportunities

The Ranges and Danger Areas are closed to the public during periods of live firing. When firing is not taking place the public can access the training area’s metalled roads on foot, horseback and bicycle. You can also walk along the beaches when the flags are down and red lights extinguished. Further access to the area is not possible because of an unexploded ordnance risk.

Further information

Further information and training times can be obtained by Tel: 01382 533025

O.S. Map References

O.S. Landranger Map Sheet 54 Dundee & Montrose. Forfar & Arbroath O.S. Explorer Map Sheet 382 Arbroath, Montrose & Carnoustie. Laurencekirk

Cape Wrath Training Area

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Cape Wrath Training Area, near Durness, Northwest Scotland.

Location

Cape Wrath Training Area is located at the far North West corner of the UK Mainland approximately 120 miles from Inverness.

Site Description

Cape Wrath Training Area provides opportunities for a wide variety of field fire and dry training exercises across 25,000 acres of severe and isolated upland moorland.

It is the only Range in Europe where Land, Sea and Air training activities can be conducted simultaneously and where the Royal Air Force can train using live 1000lb bombs.

The Range forms part of an area that is often referred to as “the last great wilderness”, due to its remoteness.

Cape Wrath Training Area is home to a wide range of wildlife, and various parts of the Training Area have been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), an EU Special Area of Conservation (SAC), as well as a Special Protection Area (SPA).

Access opportunities

There are two main ways of taking access to Cape Wrath Training Area.

The main access to the range area is via the passenger ferry across the Kyle of Durness from Keoldale. This ferry runs sporadically from May to September. The frequency of the service is dependant on the state of the tide and weather conditions. Two hours either side of low tide the service may stop altogether. The ferry may operate outside these months by prior arrangement. On the Cape side of the Kyle a minibus service operates between the ferry landing point and the Cape Wrath lighthouse along the public road. This service is privately operated and excursions from the ferry to the lighthouse and back take approximately 2 ½ hours. The public road across the Cape runs for approximately 12 miles thus the majority of people accessing the lighthouse via the ferry make use of this service at least one way. 10 miles of the road are within the Cape Wrath Training Area. The public road is closed during live firing periods. The ferry and minibus service are also curtailed during these periods.

The other main way to access Cape Wrath is to walk from Blairmore, in the south, via the Sandwood estate owned by John Muir Trust, to Cape Wrath Lighthouse. Much of this route is unmarked, over rough and open moorland, and is not recommended for inexperienced walkers. Walkers are also advised to check firing times before setting off on this route, as should firing be taking place then red flags and lamps will be displayed at the Range boundary and access will not be permitted. This route forms the final section of the Cape Wrath Trail, a long distance route from Fort William of just under 200 miles.

Further Information

Details of the ferry and minibus services can be found at the Cape Wrath website (see “Related Links” – this website is not an MOD website)

Further information on the Cape Wrath Trail can be found at the Cape Wrath Trail website (see “Related Links”)

For information on firing times at Cape Wrath Training Area, please contact Range Control at Faraid Head.

Tel: 01971 511242 or Out of Hours 0800 833300

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 9 (Cape Wrath) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 466 (Durness & Cape Wrath) 1:25,000

Castlelaw Training Area and Ranges

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for the Castlelaw/Dreghorn training area, south of Edinburgh.

Location

The Castlelaw/Dreghorn Training Area lies immediately south of Edinburgh and is part of the Pentland Hills Regional Park.

Site Description

Castlelaw rises steeply from the valley to the northern tops of the pentland hills at about 500m. The highpoints of the Training Area give stunning views across the city, the Firth of Forth and on a clear day the highlands beyond. The area is home to some rare habitats and wildlife including small numbers of black grouse.

Although military training is the primary land use, the estate is also used for agriculture, principally sheep grazing.

Access opportunities

The Training Area lies within the Pentland Hills Regional Park and as such there are numerous tracks and undefined footpaths for walkers. The area is popular with locals and visitors to Edinburgh.

Live firing is restricted to the Live Firing Range at Castlelaw. Red flags (daytime) and red lamps (night-time) are used when firing is taking place. The public are not allowed into the Danger Area. The Firing Range is clearly demarcated by a fence.

Horse riding is now allowed on specified routes across the training area. These routes have been agreed with the British Horse Society (Scotland) and the Pentland Hills Regional Park. The routes allow riders to explore this area whilst minimising any conflict between horses and troop activity.

Please remember that dry training (Blank firing, smoke and pyrotechnics) will still occur in the training area so riders must expect sudden movement and noises. It is advised that riders wear fluorescent clothing to make themselves more visible to soldiers.

Details of a circular walk across the Pentland Hills can be found under “Related pages/documents”. * Pentland Hills: Catslaw

Further information

Further details of the riding routes can be found on the Pentland Hills Regional Park website (see Related links”) or by Tel: 0131 445 3383.

For further information on firing times contact the Castlelaw Training Area. Tel: 0131 310 4943.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 66 (Edinburgh & Midlothian Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 344 (Pentland Hills, Penicuik & West Linton) 1;25,000

Kirkcudbright Training Centre

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Kirkcudbright Training Centre on the northern coast of the Solway Firth in Dumfries and Galloway.

Location

Kirkcudbright Training Centre, on the northern coastline of the Solway Firth in Dumfries and Galloway occupies an exposed headland 5 km south of the town of Kirkcudbright.

Site Description

Kirkcudbright Training Centre provides opportunities for a wide variety of field fire and dry training exercises across 4,700 acres (1,900 hectares) of farmland.

The range has many rare plants including populations of Narrow-leaved Everlasting Pea and Cowslips. The only known county records of six plants including Yellow Horned Poppy, Yellow Vetch and Pyramidal Orchids are from the range. Most of the rare plants flourish on the untrodden coastline and cliff face.

Access opportunities

There is a danger from unexploded ordnance lying close to the surface of the ground in some parts of the range, and as a result, access is only permitted on four defined and waymarked routes which are located on hard surfaced paths and roads through safe parts of the training area. These routes can only be used when the training area is not active and red flags are not flying/lamps are not lit. Horse Riders are warned when using these routes that the area is used extensively, by both fast jets and helicopters, for low flying exercises. High visibility clothing should be worn by riders. Please see safety pages for more information.

The main linear Access path runs from West to East across the range area. It starts at Torrs Point, where the Dumfries & Galloway waymarked public footpath from Kirkcudbright stops at the Range boundary gate. The path is then marked by Dumfries & Galloway waymarker posts throughout its six and a half mile length to Abbey Burn Foot. Horse riders are advised to transit from Abbey Burn Foot, at the East end of the footpath, where there is an equestrian entry gate and parking for horse boxes.

There are also three shorter, circular routes on the training area.

Townhead Loop: This circular walk starts near Balmae on the Western side of the training area and is approximately four and a half miles long.

Howwell Loop: This circular walk also starts near Balmae and is approximately three and a quarter miles long

Netherlaw Loop: This short circular walk takes in Netherlaw Glen at the Eastern side of the training area and is approximately 1 mile long See “Related pages/documents” for the Kirkcudbright Public Access Routes information leaflet.

Further information

Further information can be gained from Tel: 0141 224 8501 (Range Officer) or 0141 224 8502 (Guard House).

OS Map References

Kirkcudbright and Castle Douglas, Gatehouse of Fleet OS Explorer Map, Sheet 312

Newton Stewart and Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse of Fleet OS Landranger Map, Sheet 83


Locations in South East England

Aldershot and Minley training areas

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Aldershot and Minley training areas in Hampshire.

Location

Aldershot and Minley Training Areas are located to the west of Aldershot and north west of Farnborough in Hampshire.

Site Description

The two Training Areas cover an area of approximately 2000 hectares of lowland heathland habitat which supports a wide range of associated fauna and flora. They are made up of a diverse mosaic of heathland, conifer woodland, areas of mature and semi-mature broadleaved woodland, mire, scrub, acid grassland and grass meadows, particularly in the Minley area.

The majority of the areas are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and form part of the European designated Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

The majority of the area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Access Opportunities

Public access is permitted along all public rights of way within both training areas at all times. Open access on foot is allowed in areas within the managed access symbol on the Ordnance Survey Explorer maps. This access is subject to the terms and conditions of the Aldershot and District Military Byelaws, which are displayed at the principal access points onto the training areas. Do not interrupt any military training activities and please observe the conditions of the Byelaws all times.

There are parking areas and lay-bys on the periphery of the training areas for use by the public and the military. Please do not obstruct vehicular access onto the training areas.

Military Use

The training areas are used for dry training exercises only. Dry training does not involve the use of live ammunition, but it may include the use of pyrotechnics, blank ammunition and other battle simulators such as smoke grenades and thunder flashes. Be prepared for sudden noises!

Further Information……..

For further information on access please contact the Defence Training Estate Training Area Officer on 01483 798357.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 186 (1:50,000) OS Explorer Sheet 145 (1:25,000)

Ash and Pirbright Range Danger Areas

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Ash and Pirbright Range Danger Areas, east and north-east of Aldershot and Farnborough.

Location

Ash and Pirbright range danger areas are found to the east and north-east of Aldershot and Farnborough.

Site Description

The range danger areas cover 2000 hectares, made up of a mixture of lowland heathland, conifer and broad-leaved woodland, mire, scrub and acid grassland supporting a wide range of fauna and flora.

The majority of the area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and forms part of the European designated Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

Military Use

Both range danger areas are used for live firing exercises and training. Ash and Pirbright Range Danger Areas

Access Opportunities

The range danger areas are depicted on the Ordnance Survey Explorer maps by a closed red triangle defining them as danger areas. Ash and Pirbright range danger areas however differ in one fundamental way.

Pirbright range danger area is closed at all times with no permitted access, due to unexploded ordnance risk.

Ash range danger area is closed only when the red flags or red lamps are displayed.

At all other times Ash range danger area is open to the public for access on foot. Access is subject to the terms and conditions of the Aldershot and District Military Byelaws, which are displayed at all major access points onto the danger area.

For further information on access to the range danger area at Ash please contact the senior range officer on 01252 325233.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 186 (Aldershot, Guildford & surrounding area) 1:50,000

OS Explorer Sheet 145 (Guildford & Farnham) 1:25,000

East Kent dry training area

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for the East Kent dry training area inland from Hythe and Dover.

Location

East Kent, inland from Hythe and Dover.

Site Description

East Kent Dry Training Area extends in small blocks in an arc between Hythe and Dover, extending a few miles inland. The area around Dover is steeped in military history and the majority of the rolling rural landscape is within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Access Opportunities

There are over 36 km of footpaths and bridleways crossing the Training Area over farmland and through woodland. Routes of interest include the North Downs Way, Saxon Shore Way, Pilgrim’s Way and Elham Valley Way.

A walk in Reinden Wood, near Hawkinge, developed in conjunction with White Cliffs Countryside Project, is illustrated. See “Related pages\documents” on the right hand side of this page. *Reinden Wood

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 189 (Ashford & Romney Marsh) 1:50,000

OS Explorer Sheet 138 (Dover, Folkestone & Hythe) 1:25,000

Hankley and Elstead Commons

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Hankley and Elstead Commons which is situated on the boundary of Surrey and Hampshire

Location

Hankley & Elstead Commons are located on the Longmoor Training Area which is situated on the boundary of Surrey and Hampshire between the towns of Bordon, Liphook, Farnham and Guildford.

Site Description

The Commons represent some of the finest remaining heathland in Southern England and are nationally important for their bird, reptile and invertebrate populations. Elstead, Ockley and Royal Commons are part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation. The commons are covered with heather, bracken and woodlands of birch and Scots Pine.

In 1996, the whole of the training area was given a ‘Forest of Excellence’ award by the Forest Commission, which reflects the exceptional management of the landscape, wildlife conservation, timber production and public access in the area. The training area is used for logistics and minor infantry manoeuvre exercises.

Heather, bracken and woodlands of birch and Scots Pine on the commons

Access Opportunities

Public access is permitted along public rights of way across both Commons at all times. This includes two walks across the open heathland of Elstead and Royal Commons. In addition open access on foot is available in those areas delineated by the managed access symbol on Ordnance Survey Explorer maps. When walking in the training area you are requested not to interrupt military training and to observe the Byelaws.

There are parking areas at The Moat on Elstead Common, at the entrance to Royal Common and at Hankley Common. See “Related pages/documents” on the right hand side of this page for a map of the walk.

General Safety  Please do not approach or pick up any metal objects  Please note that no camping or fires are allowed  Keep to the designated path. Where there are boardwalks these must be used and walkers must not walk on the surrounding ground  Please keep dogs under proper control  The pond on Royal Common is strictly out of bounds  Some sections of the promoted routes may be boggy and very wet and might be impassable during certain seasons of the year. Slight deviations from the route may be necessary

For Further Information ……

For further information on access to the Commons telephone 01420 483375.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 186 (1:50,000) OS Explorer Sheet 145 (1:25,000)

Hythe ranges

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Hythe Ranges on the edge of the town of Hythe in Kent.

Location

6 miles west of Folkestone, on the edge of the town of Hythe, off the A259 Hythe-Dymchurch-Hastings road.

Site Description

An area of low lying, slightly undulating land adjoining the foreshore. Hythe Ranges is one of the oldest ranges in the country and has been used for live firing for nearly 200 years. The whole area is steeped in military history. There are two Martello Towers on Hythe Ranges, and a “Grand Redoubt” fortification at Dymchurch. These were built in the early 1800s to resist potential invasion by Napoleon.

Access Opportunities

Access is available along the foreshore and the sea wall during periods of non-firing.

Hythe Ranges are used for live firing with a Danger Area extending out to sea. Red flags are flown during live firing periods. During this time access is prohibited along the foreshore and see wall. A notice indicating live firing times is displayed at the entrance to the Ranges and on other boards on the security fence at either end of the range complex.

Further Information from…

For further information on live firing times, contact 01303 225879 (office hours) or 01303 225861 (out of hours).

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 189 (Ashford & Romney Marsh) 1:50,000

OS Explorer Sheet 138 (Dover, Folkestone & Hythe) 1:25,000

Longmoor range and training areas

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Longmoor range and training areas in Hampshire.

Location

Longmoor Range and Training Areas are located to the west of Liphook in Hampshire. The town of Bordon lies immediately to the north and the village of Greatham to the west.

Site Description

These Range and Training Areas cover approximately 1800 hectares on primarily lowland heathland habitat, made up of a mosaic of heathland, conifer and broad-leaved woodland, mire, scrub and acid grassland supporting a wide range of associated fauna and flora. The majority of the area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and forms part of the European designated Wealden Heaths Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation. The A3 London to Portsmouth Road runs through the middle of this area.

Military Use

The Training Areas outside the Range Danger Area are used for dry training exercises only. Dry training does not involve the use of live ammunition, but it may include the use of pyrotechnics, blank ammunition and other battle simulators. Be prepared for sudden noises!

Longmoor Range Danger Area is used for live firing all year round when red flags or lights are displayed. At all other times (when red flags or lights are not displayed), the Range Danger Area is open to the public as is the Dry Training Areas.

Access Opportunities

Public access is permitted along public rights of way within the Dry Training Areas at all times. In addition area access on foot is available in those areas delineated with the managed access symbol on the Ordnance Survey Explorer maps. The Range Danger Area is delineated on the Ordnance Survey Explorer maps by closed red triangles. Access is only permitted when the red flags or lamps are not displayed around the perimeter of the area. Access is subject to the Aldershot and District Military Byelaws, which are displayed at all major access points onto the training areas. When accessing the Training Areas the public are requested not to interrupt any military training activities and to observe the byelaws at all times.

General Safety

 Please do not attempt to pick up any unknown metal objects  Please note that camping or fires are not allowed  Please keep dogs under proper control

For Further Information ……

For further information on access please contact the Defence Training Estate Training Area officer on 01420 483375.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 186 (1:50,000) OS Explorer Sheet 133 (1:25,000)

Lydd ranges

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Lydd ranges west of Hythe and south of Ashford in Kent.

Location

Situated 13 miles west of Hythe and 15 miles south of Ashford.

Site Description

Lydd Ranges are situated on the reclaimed land of the historic Romney Marsh and part of the cuspate foreland at Dungeness, estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 years old. The habitats are of international importance and are part of the Dungeness Special Area of Conservation. The ranges have been used for military training for over 150 years.

Access Opportunities

Lydd Ranges are used for live firing with a Danger Area extending out to sea. Red flags are flown in periods of live firing during which access is prohibited along the foreshore and Galloway’s Road. When there is no live firing access is possible along a permissive path that runs along the coast.

Further Information from…

For further information on live firing times, contact 01303 225518 (office hours) or 01303 225467 (out of hours).

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 189 (Ashford & Romney Marsh) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 125 (Romney Marsh - Rye & Winchelsea, Tenterden & New Romney) 1:25,000

Mereworth Woods

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Mereworth Woods in Kent.

Location

South west of Maidstone.

Site Description

Mereworth Woods is a small area of very rural Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland. It is part of the Metropolitan Green Belt, lies within a Special Landscape Area and is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.

Mereworth Dry Training Area is just over 300 acres, mainly mixed broadleaf woodland and some conifer plantations. There is a small area of acid heath, (rare in Kent) and an abundance of wildlife including reptiles and small mammals. The area is used heavily at weekends and regularly during the week by small units with no heavy armour or live firing permitted. Blank firing and limited pyrotechnics are used and there is a helicopter landing site that is used occasionally.

Access Opportunities

There is a footpath and bridleway running through the Training Area. The bridleway connects up with a popular local route across the busy B2016.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 188 (Maidstone - The Weald of Kent) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 148 (Maidstone & The Medway Towns) 1:25,000

Thorney Island

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Thorney Island on the south coast, between Chichester and Portsmouth.

Location

On the south coast, between Chichester and Portsmouth.

Site Description

Thorney Island was first used by the Royal Air Force in 1935 and was a fighter station and base for Coastal Command during the Second World War. In 1984, it was taken over by the Army and it is now the home base for an Artillery Regiment.

However, to call Thorney Island an island is now rather an anachronism for it has been joined to the mainland for some 125 years after the reclamation of 72 hectares of tidal mudflats in 1870. The island area comprises a mixture of open grassland (displaying a colourful variety of meadow plants in season) and reed beds. This variety of habitat, in conjunction with the surrounding wetlands, makes Thorney Island one of the best MOD sites for ornithology, with species including brent geese, oystercatchers, lapwings, curlews, skylarks and shelduck. Pilsey Island, to the south of Thorney Island, is an RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) reserve.

Access Opportunities

A circular walk, following the foreshore around Thorney Island, that lies within part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is an important area for ornithology, is featured in the attached link on the right hand side of page under “Related pages/documents”.

Further Information from…

For information on access to Thorney Island Perimeter Path Tel: 01243 388275/ 388269.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 197 (Chichester & The Downs) 1:50,000


Locations in South West England

Antony training area & Tregantle ranges

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Antony training area & Tregantle ranges in South East Cornwall.

Location

Antony Training Area is situated in South East Cornwall, to the west of Plymouth.

Site Description

Owned freehold by the MOD, the area stretches from the sandy beaches of Whitsand Bay in the south across 350 hectares of rolling pasture to the mud estuary of the River Lynher. The conservation interests of the coastal fringes are recognised by designation as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

Antony Training Area is used by members of all three services (Army, Navy and RAF) and their cadet organisations and their use is administered by Headquarters Defence Training Estate South West.

Within the training area there are two forts, Tregantle and Scraesdon, both Scheduled Ancient Monuments which were built in the 1850’s as part of a ‘ring of fire’ to protect the naval port of Plymouth. Created out of dressed granite and limestone, Tregantle Fort stands high on the Cornish coastline.

It provides accommodation for visiting units who may be using the adjoining firing ranges, other parts of the training area, or may be exercising elsewhere in Cornwall or Devon. Scraesdon Fort is used for many types of military training and its labyrinth of rooms and passages are ideal for training soldiers to operate within a built environment.

Access Opportunities

When the Ranges to the south of Tregantle Fort are not being used for live firing, the MOD owned beach is open for public use. Access is by the permissive path, which runs to the beach from the car park alongside the highway. For public safety reasons, the path is closed when the Ranges are in use and the red flags are flying (or red lamps lit at night).

The South West Coastal Path, a National Trail from Minehead in Somerset to South Haven Point in Poole, runs through the Training Area alongside the B3247 so that access is not interrupted by the use of the Firing Ranges.

Lying alongside the Lynher River, Wacker Quay is leased to the local council who have developed a public picnic site. Wacker Quay was once used to dock barges delivering stores to Scraesdon and Tregantle Forts. After being unloaded from the barge, the stores would have been transported by railway to the Forts.

Further Information from…

Live firing notices are issued to the local parish councils, Harbour Masters, Post Offices, coastguards, and published in two newspapers, The Cornish Times and The Western Morning News. For further information on live firing times, contact 01752 822516.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Map Sheet 201 (Plymouth & Launceston Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 108 (Lower Tamar Valley & Plymouth) 1:25,000

Dartmoor

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Dartmoor, West Devon, south of Okehampton.

Location

West Devon, south of Okehampton.

Site Description

Dartmoor is an area where the wildness of remote moorland remains undiminished. The landscape is dotted with many dramatic granite tors and other geological features. The climate of Dartmoor is dominated by south westerly winds, which are cool and wet, with the high moorlands of the north west being more susceptible to severe climatic conditions.

There are many prime examples of archaeological features, which record the history of man’s use of the moor, spanning time from Bronze Age burial mounds through medieval field systems to tin working remains and military structures. Farming remains the principal land use. Commoners grazing sheep, cattle and ponies continue to contribute to Dartmoor’s outstanding landscape. Military training has taken place on Dartmoor since the early 1800s. It was used intensively for tactical exercises with live ammunition by the allies during the Second World War. Today the MOD uses (by freehold, lease or licence) about 12,760 hectares of the National Park’s 94,400 hectares. The Dartmoor Training Area is used for light forces’ exercises, mostly for Royal Marines and other units based in the south west.

Access Opportunities

Dartmoor offers endless opportunities. You can wander or ride freely across expanses of unenclosed moorland, often accessed by public rights of way through enclosed farmland. Please note that land over which MOD byelaws apply is excluded from the Countryside and Rights of Way Act. Consequently the Range Danger Areas are not depicted as public access land on Ordnance Survey maps.

The Dartmoor National Park Authority organises an extensive and varied programme of guided walks throughout the year. A large proportion of the guided walk starting points are accessible by public transport and walks are free if you show your valid local public transport travel ticket to the guide.

Parts of three Training Areas are used for live firing: Okehampton, Merrivale and Willsworthy. When this land is not in use for live firing, it is used for dry training with blank ammunition and although the noise of training may be heard, no restrictions are placed on the public roaming over the open moor. Firing times need to be checked and warning signals heeded when wishing to walk within these Ranges. To assist public access, the guaranteed non live firing periods are shown on the Dartmoor Training Area website in Related links.

Further Information

For your own safety please observe the safety information which is given on the Firing Notice page and is available in the Military and Dartmoor Information for Walkers and Riders booklet. Military byelaws prohibit access to Range Danger Areas when live firing is programmed. They also prohibit digging and interference with military items.

Firing times are notified in the local press on the preceding Friday. Notices are displayed in neighbouring police stations, information centres, libraries and most public houses and camp sites. Information is also available on Freephone 0800 4584868, and on the website (see Related pages). Updated information is broadcast daily every morning on BBC Radio Devon.

A leaflet describing military use of Dartmoor in more detail is downloadable or is available from the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Information Centres Tel. 01822 890414 or the Commandant Dartmoor Training Area Tel. 01837 650010. Further information on the military interest in Dartmoor is available from the Commandant Dartmoor Training Area, Okehampton Camp, Okehampton EX20 1QP Tel 01837 650010.

Information on Dartmoor is available from the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s High Moorland Visitors Centre in Princetown and Information Centres, Tel 01822 890414.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 191 (Okehampton & Dartmoor) 1:50,000 OS Outdoor Leisure Sheet 28 (Dartmoor) 1:25,000

Lulworth ranges

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for the Lulworth ranges on the south coast, between Weymouth and Poole.

Location

On the south coast, between Weymouth and Poole.

Site Description

The Lulworth Range comprises more than 2,830 hectares. The Range is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Amongst the grasslands abutting the walks lies a multitude of wild flowers including Cowslip, Milkwort, Scabious and Wild Parsnip. In the summer months, a chorus of grasshoppers and crickets can be heard and the whole area abounds with a variety of flora and fauna.

As with much of the Dorset coast, this section of the coastline is important for its geological interest. There is a mixture of limestone, chalk sands and clays, and in many places you can see spectacular folding with clear distinctions between the different aged rock strata. Lulworth, Dorset

Access Opportunities

The Dorset Coast Path runs through Lulworth Ranges. There are also a number of circular walks within the Ranges, including walks featured in Related links.

There are car parking facilities at Whiteway and Tyneham. Picnic facilities are also available at Whiteway car park.

Worbarrow Beach is open to the public when the Ranges are open.

Red flags are flown/lamps are lit to indicate live firing during which time access is prohibited to the live firing Range Danger Area.

These firing times are subject to last-minute change, please phone 01929 404819 to listen to an answering machine that will give up-to-date access information to callers.

Please note that the exhibitions in Tyneham School and Tyneham Church are open from 10.00 until 16.00.

OS Map References

Landranger Sheet 19 (Dorchester & Weymouth) 1:50,000 Outdoor Leisure sheet OL15 (Purbeck & South Dorset) 1:25,000

Penhale

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Penhale on the North Cornwall coast to the south of Newquay.

Location

On the North Cornwall coast to the south of Newquay. Between Holywell and Perranporth.

Site Description

Penhale Camp and Training Area stands on the rugged north Cornwall coast looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. It is used by members of all three services (Army, Navy and RAF) and their cadet organisations. The sand dune system is renowned for its beauty, with dunes amongst the highest in the country, and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). There are two Scheduled Ancient Monuments - an Iron Age promontory fort on Penhale Point and Bronze Age barrows on Ligger Point.

Access Opportunities

The South West Coast Path (SWCP) is a national trail from Minehead in Somerset to South Haven Point in Poole and follows the seaward edge of the Training Area. For more details please go to the South West coast path website, see “Related links”. From Holywell (with parking in the National Trust Car Park) the SWCP follows the sea cliffs around Penhale and Ligger Points.

In the spring/summer you will see a wealth of maritime flowers and it is an ideal place to spot nesting birds and seals. The remains of some of Cornwall’s mining heritage can also be seen and care should be taken around these features. At the northern end of Perran Beach, the designated Coast Path drops down from the cliffs and, in part, follows the high water mark some 3km to Perranporth.

To supplement the Coastal Path, the MOD has opened a permissive path which continues the route following the red and white range poles south above the beach to the MOD boundary. This provides the opportunity for a circular walk from Perranporth that takes in the beach, the dune ridge and the adjoining dune grassland around the Perran Sands Holiday Centre.

This walk can be extended to pass by the site of St Piran’s Oratory and the recently excavated St Piran’s Church which lie just south of the MOD boundary. For further information on St Piran, the patron saint of tin miners, see (Related links) on the right. Please pay attention to the signs around the training area and do not venture away from the way marked routes as the training activities carried out on the site are hazardous.

Further Information from …

Please telephone 01637 832001

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheet 200 (Newquay, Bodmin & Surrounding Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 104 (Redruth & St Agnes) 1:25,000

Salisbury Plain

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Salibsury Plain in Wiltshire.

Location

In Wiltshire, 12 miles (19.2km) north of the city of Salisbury.

Site Description

The Army started land purchase on Salisbury Plain in 1897 and the total area of the current estate is just over 38,000 hectares. The Training Area measures 25 miles by 10 miles (40 km by 16 km) and occupies about one ninth of the county of Wiltshire.

Defence Training Estate Salisbury Plain (DTE SP) provides walkers with the opportunity to see an archaeological landscape, which is of unparalleled importance in Northern Europe. There are some 2,300 archaeological sites including features dating back to 4000 BC, along with more recent Roman settlements. Salisbury Plain has one of the most dense concentrations of ancient long and round barrows anywhere in Britain.

Salisbury Plain is the largest area of chalk grassland in north-west Europe and contains 40% of the remaining area of this habitat in the UK. In recognition of its importance about 20,000 hectares of grassland have been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area Conservation (SAC).

Species supported within the grassland include butterflies now uncommon in Britain such as marsh fritillary, adonis blue and brown hairstreak. All have healthy populations in the area. ATE SP is also designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds, such as the stone curlew where 10% of the UK population are found. Roe deer are numerous and are often seen by day.

Access Opportunities

A variety of access is available on DTE SP including the Imber Range Perimeter Path (IRPP), a waymarked route (see link under “Related pages”). The eastern third of DTE SP, the area shown as managed access on the OS Explorer map, is where the majority of access is available. The numerous rights of way remain open during military training, even when tanks are manoeuvring.

The Bulford Ranges are adjacent to the managed access area and are closed to the public during Live Firing. They are used extensively, normally five days per week, Tuesday and Thursday evenings and at least one weekend per month. Red flags are flown or lamps lit at night around the danger areas, at which time public access is prohibited. When the flags are down or lamps unlit at night you may enter this Danger Area.

Further Information from…

For further information, call 01980 674763. An answer phone recording gives up to date information on areas open for public access.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Sheets 183 and 184 (1:50,000) OS Explorer Sheets 130 and 143 (1:25,000)

Staddon Heights training area

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Staddon Heights training area on the southern edge of Plymouth.

Location

Staddon Heights training area

On the southern edge of Plymouth, east of Hooe, on the edge of Plymouth Sound.

Site Description

The Training Area consists of a rocky foreshore with a small cove at Jennycliff backed by steep slopes/cliffs rising to 100m and a small cliff top area of some 8 hectares mostly covered in scrub and brambles. Staddon Heights Training Area is used by members of all three services (Army, Navy and RAF) and their cadet organisations. Their use is administered by Headquarters Defence Training Estate South West.

The footpath and some of the adjoining cliffs are leased to the local Council for recreational use including the popular Ramscliff and Jennycliff amenity areas. The training area provides outstanding views over Plymouth Sound and breakwater towards Plymouth and Cornwall. The conservation interest of the foreshore is recognised by its designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Access Opportunities

The South West Coastal Path, a National Trail from Minehead in Somerset to South Haven Point in Poole, runs through the Training Area. There is a car park in the north eastern corner of the site.

Further Information from…

For further information on access opportunities contact Defence Estates on 01392 492538.

OS Map References

OS Landranger Map Sheet 201 (Plymouth & Launceston Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet 108 (Lower Tamar Valley & Plymouth) 1:25,000 OS Outdoor Leisure Sheet 20 1:25,000

Wyke Regis training area & Chickerell Camp

Location details and access opportunities and restrictions for Wyke Regis training area & Chickerell Camp near Weymouth in Dorset.

Location

Near Weymouth in Dorset.

Site Description

Wyke Regis Training Area is part of the Defence Training Estate South West and is located at three sites. Two of these are on the northern side of the Fleet, a tidal lagoon with Chesil Beach, the shingle beach of international importance, on the southern side.

In 1928, the Royal Engineers established a Bridging Camp alongside the Fleet at Wyke Regis, and the site continues to be used for training the Royal Engineers and other arms (both Regular and Reserve Forces) in the building of bridges and ferries, as well as other forms of military training. The second site is a Camp and Rifle Range at Chickerell which, as well as being used for markmanship training, is used for basic fieldcraft and patrolling exercises.

The third site is located at Verne Yeates on the island of Portland and is used for bridging and signals training.

The conservation importance of Chesil Beach and the Fleet, including parts of Chickerell Range, is recognised by its designation as a World Heritage Site. The fleet is also a European Special Area of Conservation. Much of the Range area at Chickerell is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as are areas of Verne Yeates.

Access Opportunities

The South West Coastal Path, a National Trail from Minehead in Somerset to South Haven Point in Poole, runs along the northern boundary of Wyke Regis Bridging Camp and the southern boundary of Chickerell Range.

Access is available using Fleet Lane alongside Chickerell Camp following the Camp fence line to Chickerell Rifle Range, on Tidmoor Point on FP33, or Coastal Path FP36. Access is available at all times, except when red flags are flying when walkers will be diverted inland around the back of the Range firing point, by signs and access restricting gates, before returning to the Coastal Path.

Further Information from…

Contact 01305 831935

OS Map References

OS Landranger Map Sheet 194 (Dorchester, Weymouth & Surrounding Area) 1:50,000 OS Explorer Sheet OL15 (Purbeck and South Dorset) 1:25,000


Locations in Wales and West England

Capel Curig

Information about Capel Curig.

Capel Curig Training Camp is located within the northern part of Snowdonia National Park. The camp is approached from the A5 and is just three and a half miles from the village of Betws-y-Coed.

The camp covers an area of four hectares with a perimeter fence around the main buildings area of 845m. The main camp area contains woodland and a helicopter landing area/sports field. There is also provision of secure and centrally located accommodation for Units undertaking Adventurous Training in North Wales. The Camp provides 280 bed spaces and catering facilities.

Castlemartin

Information about Castlemartin.

Castlemartin covers about 5,900 acres (2,390 ha) of freehold land on the South Pembrokeshire coast within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The War Office requisitioned the area in 1938 from the Cawdor Estate, and many ruins of the former settlements that belonged to the 53 farming communities, which had to be relocated, can still be seen. The land was returned to farming after the Second World War, but in 1951 the Korean War saw its reactivation for range use, which has remained in being ever since. Farming has also continued alongside the range’s primary use with cattle, and in the winter, flocks of sheep. A beautiful area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Castlemartin contains a wide variety of flora, as well as some of the finest limestone coastal scenery in the National Park. It has significant archaeological and geological interest, including fossil records of international significance. Castlemartin has been preserved as a spectacular coastal landscape, and Defence Estates manages its special heritage to preserve it for future generations.

Kingsbury Ranges

Information about Kinsbury Ranges

Kingsbury Ranges are located in North Warwickshire, four miles south of Tamworth, near the villages of Piccadilly, Kingsbury and Wood End.

The landscape of the Rifle Ranges at Kingsbury is gently undulating, with areas of grassed over spoil heaps, a relict of historic coal mining activity, and Kingsbury Wood, a broad leaved/mixed woodland which has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Access & Recreation

There are two footpaths in the south east of the area, and the area north of the tramway contains two other public footpaths. These are outside the Range Danger Area and are accessible at all times. When the Ranges are used for live firing, red flags are flown.

Contact Information

Live firing notices are issued to local police stations, post offices and residents who wish to be informed.

For further information on live firing times contact the booking cell at Swynnerton Camp during office hours on Tel: 01785 763159 or 01785 763132.

Kinmel Park Training Area

Information about Kinmel Park Training Area.

Kinmel Park Training Area is located at Bodelwyddan near Rhyl. It lies just off Junction 25 of the A55 trunk road.

Kinmel Park Training Area covers an area of 83 acres (35 hectares) of grass land. The training area lies between two large private estates and slopes from high ground in the west down to flat ground which borders the A55 trunk road. The area and is grazed by sheep and beef cattle. Within the confines of the training area there is an Obstacle Course and a 25 metre No Danger Area Range.

Military History

The original Kinmel Park Camp was once many times larger than the existing camp, which is now awaiting disposal, and was the site of the alleged mutiny by Canadian troops which took place on the 4th March 1919. During the disturbances five Canadian soldiers were shot dead and twenty eight wounded by their fellows before order could be restored. Three of the five dead are buried in the nearby Bodelwyddan churchyard alongside another seventy eight Canadians, many of whom perished as a result of the 1918/19 influenza epidemics.

Conservation and Environment

Kinmel Park Training Area plays host to a large winter migrant bird population, which takes full advantage of the large woods which surround the training area. Flocks of redwing and fieldfare are abundant, particularly in harsh winters. There are sizeable native bird populations of most species here. Large predators include buzzard, carrion crow and raven. There is also a large population of red deer which move freely through the training area, using the large woods on the sides of the area for cover.

Access and Recreation

There are no public footpaths that cross the training area. No live firing takes place at Kinmel in normal training, however the MOD Deer Management Society do cull deer at Kinmel during the hunting season.

Contact Information

For further information, contact Nesscliff Training Camp on 01743 741607 (Mon – Fri only).

Leek and Upper Hulme Training Areas

Information about Leek and Upper Hulme Training Areas.

Leek and Upper Hulme Training Areas are located in North Staffordshire five miles north of the town of Leek, and near the villages of Upper Hulme, Newton Blackshaw Moor and Warslow. The M6 motorway runs close by.

The Training Area is 1600ft above sea level and the landscape is a mixture of pasture land and rugged open moorland, over-lapped by the Peak District National Park. The land is a mixture of MOD freehold, leasehold, licensed and private land and the majority is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area for birds. It also contains two Ancient Monuments.

Access and Recreation

Access can be gained by using the public roads that criss-cross the area and by the many public rights of way and footpaths.

The site is approx 1093 hectares in size and is open to public access. Byelaws are in place and there is a closed impact area that is fenced and signed and out of bounds at all times.

Contact Information

Further information can be obtained by calling the local booking cell at Swynnerton Camp during working hours on 01785 763159 or 01785 763132.

Llansilin Range

Information about Llansilin Range.

Llansilin Rifle Range is located approximately one mile NE of the village of Llansilin. The range lies on the Oswestry to Llansilin Road (B4580) road mid way between the hamlet of Rhydrcroseau and Llansilin village at Grid reference 224/295.

Llansilin Rifle Range is a 400 yard 14 Lane Gallery Range; it has a hill background with a Range Danger Area that extends over the crest of the Coed Cochion hill which forms the back stop for the range. The River Cynlaith flows between the 100m firing point and the range stopbutt, the river marks the border between England and Wales.

Conservation and Environment

On top of the Coed Cochion Hill there is a lake known as the Llyn Rhuddwyn. It is heavily used by migrant wildfowl and other birdlife because of its isolated and protected location. There are a number of deciduous trees of great age and size including Ash and Beech which were historically coppiced. There is also an Iron Age settlement and quarry located to the rear of the hill, and a number of interesting buildings which lie in the forest that forms the range danger area, including a 19th century shooting lodge with castellated ramparts.

The forest that lies within the Range Danger Area teems with both animal and bird life. There is a small number of Red Deer and most of the other native mammal species can also be found here. Bird life is prolific and includes raptors such as the Common Buzzard, and Red Kite can often be seen over the Coed Cochion.

Access and Recreation

There is one public footpath that crosses the RDA, it is prohibited from use when the range is live, at which time the access gates are locked, signs erected and danger flags flown.

Contact Information

For further information, contact Nesscliff Training Camp on 01743 741607 (Mon – Fri only).

Manorbier Range

Information about the Air Defence Range at Manorbier.

The Air Defence Range at Manorbier is the only range in mainland UK from where the High Velocity Missile, employed in the anti aircraft role, can be fired. This weapon system is the latest in a design progression from the Blowpipe system, deployed during the Falkland campaign of 1982, through to the S15 Javelin, deployed during the first Gulf conflict 1990 – 91. It is currently one of the most effective and technologically advanced air defence systems in the world.

The aim of each missile firing is to assess the effectiveness of the whole system and the ability of the missile operator to engage a hostile aircraft, simulated by an aerial target known as the Banshee. Banshee, which looks like a very large model aircraft, is powered by a two cylinder petrol engine and carries sophisticated instrumentation. Used in conjunction with ground monitoring equipment, these aircraft test the performance of the launcher and operator. Banshee is launched out to sea and recovered by parachute at Manorbier Range.

In addition to High Velocity Missile firings, which constitute the core business of the range, Air Defence Range Manorbier also plays host to the Air Warfare Centre who conduct a variety of aircraft related trials. Every effort is made to ensure that the inevitable low flying activity associated with these trials is kept to a minimum over the mainland.

During firing, surveillance radars and range safety craft ensure that no unauthorised ships or aircraft enter the range danger area. This exclusion zone covers an area of 570 square kilometres to the south of the rangehead, out to 21 kilometres and up to a ceiling of 40,000 feet.

Nesscliff

Information about Nesscliff Training Area.

Nesscliff Training Area is located about one mile south west of the A5, equidistant to Shrewsbury and Oswestry. The training area is predominantly flat and consists of the flood plain of the River’s Severn and Vyrnwy (Afon Efyrnwy).

Nesscliff Training Area covers an area of 1681 acres (681ha) of agricultural land on the western end of the North Shropshire Plain. The area is bordered to the east by a sandstone outcrop behind Nesscliff village, to the west by the Llanymynmech Hills, and to the south by the Briedden Hills and the Stiper Stones.

Military Use

Nesscliff is used to support Regular, Reserve Forces and Cadet training. The camp provides admin, catering and sleeping accommodation for units on training. Pre - operational training is regularly conducted at Nesscliff.

Military History

One of the features of the training area is the large number (203) of old storage buildings that were part of the former Central Ammunition Depot (CAD). A number of the storage buildings – and a number of buildings that were either Prisoner of War or European Displaced Persons Camps during their history – are utilised to support military training activities. The remainder of the former storage buildings are utilised by the large number of tenants that farm the military estate.

The former track bed of the Shropshire and Montgomery Railway, which was taken over by the War Dept in 1940 to provide the transport for the future CAD, runs through the entire training area. All of the former storage buildings were served by rail and much old railway infrastructure remains today, including former halts and platforms which escaped the lifting of the railway after its closure in the early 60’s.

In the northern part of the training area there are the remains of the Belan Bank Motte and Bailey Castle.

Conservation and Environment

Nesscliff Training Area plays host to a large winter migrant bird population which takes full advantage of the concentration of fruit bearing trees, large flocks of redwing, fieldfares and waxwing abound particularly in harsh continental winters. There are sizeable native populations of most species. Large predators include buzzard, goshawk and raven, and the merlin is a frequent visitor.

Access and Recreation

On the northern part of the training area there are numerous public footpaths that cross the training area between the villages of Pentre, Nesscliff and the hamlets of Kinton and Kinnerley etc. No live firing normally takes place at Nesscliff.

There are no public footpaths on the southern area.

Contact Information

For further information, contact 01743 741607 (Mon – Fri only) or the Camp Guardroom on 01743 268504 (open 24 hrs a day).

Pembrey Sands

Information about Pembrey Sands Air Weapons Range.

Pembrey Sands Air Weapons Range is primarily an air-to-ground bombing and strafing practice area.

The main users of the range are the instructors and students of 19(F) Sqn, flying the Hawk aircraft, although other fast jets can also use the facilities. Military helicopters also use the range and its targets for cabin door gunnery practice. In a typical year pilots will conduct 10,000 passes to target, drop 1,500 bombs and fire 120,000 rounds of ammunition.

A 7,000ft Tactical Landing Zone (TLZ) can be established on the beach for C-130 Hercules crews to practise natural surface operations. A Course for TLZ Safety Officers is regularly run at Pembrey Sands to train personnel in the techniques of laying out a suitable natural surface landing strip.

Range Firing Times

Normal range firing times are 0900 - 1700, Monday – Thursday and 0900 - 1400 on Friday during the summer and 0900 - 1600 Monday – Thursday and 0900 - 1400 on Friday during the winter. Night firing can take place on an irregular basis. Other air and ground training activity does take place on the range outside these times including C130s landing on the beach, aircraft using the range targets but not firing weapons and various cadet organisations conducting exercises.

Contact Information

For further information about all firing and flying activities call: 01554 892 205.

Penally

Information about Penally Training Camp.

Penally Training Camp is located adjacent to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and near Tenby to the east and the town of Pembroke to the west.

The camp, and associated firing range, was established in 1860 to cater for an identified need for musketry training following the Crimean War. Extensive use of the accommodation and training facilities was also made during the First and Second World Wars, providing facilities for many British and Allied troops. Some of the original buildings are still in use.

Penally Training Camp’s classrooms and training facilities complement activities at both Manorbier and Templeton, and it administers the latter. Penally Training Camp is also used as a centre for many types of training, including adventurous training, and is the principal accommodation for units using Air Defence Range Manorbier.

Access and Recreation

Range Firing Times

Visit the: Penally Gallery Range firing notice page for the latest information on firing times.

Contact Information

Up-to-date information concerning usage of Penally rifle range can be obtained by ringing the automated service 01834 845950 or Administrative Officer on 01834 843522.

Sealand Rifle Range

Information about Sealand Rifle Range.

The Sealand Rifle Ranges are small arms firing ranges comprising an operational range area and a Range Danger Area covering 486 hectares in the Dee Estuary near Chester. There are three rifle ranges, two of which are currently in use.

Conservation and Environment

The site lies across the border between England and Wales, thereby coming under the jurisdiction of both the Countryside Commission for Wales (CCW) and Natural England (NE). The RDA comprises mainly of saltmarsh communities, with associated transitional swamp and scrub habitats. The Dee Estuary, onto which the RDA extends, is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Area of Conservation (habitats and species), a Special Protection Area for birds and a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar site). The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) looks after the grazing tenancy of the saltmarsh and enclosed range land.

The site is of international importance for water birds, during the winter the intertidal flats, saltmarshes and fringing habitats provide feeding and roosting sites for internationally important numbers of ducks and waders, in summer the site supports nationally important breeding colonies of two species of tern. The site is very important during migration, particularly for wader populations moving along the west coast of Britain and for Sandwich terns post breeding.

Access and Recreation

There is no public access on to the Sealand Rifle Ranges or RDA at any time.

Live firing takes place at Sealand almost always on a daily basis.

Contact Information

For further information, contact Nesscliff Training Camp on 01743 741607 (Mon – Fri only).

Sennybridge and Epynt Way

Information about Sennybridge Training Area and the Epynt Way.

Sennybridge Training Area, requisitioned in 1939, is the 3rd largest military training area in the UK. In 1940 the Training Area became the site of a Royal Artillery Practice Camp. Today it hosts sophisticated live firing and dry training facilities for light forces including light (105mm) artillery. The camp can accommodate up to 1760 soldiers.

Sennybridge Training Area lies in Mid Wales within the counties of Powys and Carmarthenshire. Situated just outside the Brecon Beacon National Park to the north west of the county town of Brecon it covers an area of approximately 31,000 acres (12,000 ha) of MOD freehold land and 6,000 acres (2,500 ha) of land leased from Forest Enterprise. It measures approximately 12 miles (19 km) SW to NE and 5 miles (8 km) SE to NW.

Sennybridge Training Area consists mainly of a flat upland plateau known locally as Mynydd Epynt. From this plateau there are spectacular views across to the Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons, the Cambrian Mountains and the Carmarthenshire Black Mountain.

The uplands of the Epynt Plateau lie between the Brecon Beacons to the South and the Cambrian Mountains to the North. The area became famous as the breeding ground for Welsh Cobs – the very name Epynt originating from an ancient expression meaning “haunt of horse”.

The geological features consist of Old Red Sandstone in the south and centre of the area, with a band of Silurian shale in the north. Much of the upland area is above 1,250 feet (380 m) with the highest points at the Summit (Grid SN 927434) and the Lookout (Grid SN 961464) at 1,533 feet (475 m) and 1,563 feet (478 m) respectively. Most of the stream valleys lie between 784 - 899 feet (240-275m).

Swynnerton Camp and Training Area

Information about Swynnerton Camp and Training Area.

Swynnerton Training Camp and Training Area is located in North Staffordshire five miles West of the town of Stone and near the villages of Eccleshall, Swynnerton and Yarnfield. The M6 motorway runs close by.

The Camp and Training Area are on the site of an old ammunition production factory from the Second World War. There is a comprehensive tarmac road system and a mix of old factory buildings and walkways running through the site, with open and wooded countryside and a lagoon in the South fed with surface drained water and from the river Meece in the West.

Access and Recreation

The site is approx 228 hectares in size and is ring fenced with no direct public access or byelaws. Visits can be arranged at convenient times when no training is taking place by contacting the local staff.

Contact Information

Further information can be obtained from the local booking cell during working hours on 01785 763159 or 01785 763132.

Templeton Training Area

Information about Templeton Training Area.

Templeton Training Area is a disused World War II airfield of approximately 164 ha (404 acres). It is located approximately 25 minutes north of Penally training camp. Built in 1939, to the west of Templeton village in the south west of Pembrokeshire, it has three intersecting runways and a network of taxiways which link into aircraft standing areas. The terrain is flat to undulating with a west to southwest aspect.

Training personnel, made up of Regular and Territorial soldiers as well as Cadet units, extensively use Templeton Training Area for up to sub unit dry training with the use of pyrotechnics authorised within designated areas. An Army orienteering course has been set up and is widely used by visiting units. A bridging pit is available to engineering units.

Access and Recreation

Public access is via two bridleways transversing the runways which have been recently renovated to allow greater use by diverse organisations. The grassland is leased for grazing and there are a number of organisations who hold leases to enable other use of the area on stipulated occasions.

Contact Information

For further information about the usage of Templeton Training Area call the Penally Training Camp Administrative Officer on 01834 843522.

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