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Respect the Range: accessing local training estates during lockdown

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Military Training, Public Access

A landscape image divided into two vertically down the middle. On the left is a beautiful landscape, which transitions on the right into a continuation of the same landscape, with a military helicopter and tanks. Overlaid text says "Calm to combat" and 'Respect the range".
The MOD estate can change from calm to combat in no time. [MOD/Crown Copyright 2020]
MOD-owned land is home to some of the most beautiful and unique rural areas in the UK. Due to our ongoing conservation and partnerships with a variety of charities and specialist organisations, our land continues to offer exciting opportunities to explore and discover.

We recognise that much of this land serves a dual purpose. Its primary use is for running military exercises, providing vital year-round training for our armed forces. However, we respect that it's often where families and the public also spend their time.

Lockdown and the MOD estate

Following the Prime Minister’s recent announcement about a new England-wide lockdown, in which he encouraged personal outdoor exercise, its understandable that those living locally to MOD land might be more likely to access it than usual.

The MOD fully appreciates the huge benefits of outdoor activity for mental and physical well-being, even more-so during lockdown and the shorter winter days. However, we have a very clear message. Only access MOD land when and where it is safe to do so.

Dangers of the training estate

Use of MOD land can change by the hour. It can go from tranquil to full on-training in an instant. The artillery, explosive ordnance and vehicles used vary from site to site, however along with the presence of our military personnel, they can all pose considerable risks to the safety of the public. It’s important to stress that our training can take place at any time, day or night, and much of it is tactical meaning you might not see or hear any activity until it is too late.

A horizontal image split in half vertically through the middle. On the left is an image of a bike, taken from the position of the rider and showing the left side of the handlebars on a woodland trail. The handlebars transition to a rifle being held by a soldier on the right side of the image. Overlaid text says "Playground to battleground" and 'Respect the range".
The MOD training estate turns from playground to battleground in an instant.

Outside of live training times the land can continue to pose a risk to safety as live ordnance is sometimes accidentally left behind after drills have concluded. If you come across anything suspicious, report it, don’t touch it.

Let’s all use the land respectfully. Let’s respect the beauty it brings, and the dangers it poses. We want you to enjoy the land, but we want to keep you safe at the same time.

Please stick to public rights of way. Keep your dogs under control and most importantly of all,

Stay safe during lockdown. Respect the Range.

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