Ash Ranges – Update
Most of the MOD land comes under the designation of ‘Access Managed’. It is marked on OS maps by red triangles. This means that it is subject to the MOD byelaws and that they have the right to open and close it to the public when they are undergoing training.
The MOD have always tried to maintain a ‘presumption in favour of public access’ e.g. a balance between their training needs and to keep parts open for recreation. However over the years some visitors have ignored these guidelines and have accessed firing ranges during live firing. Therefore the ‘safe place’ standards for both the public and for the troops training has been compromised.
We all need to be familiar with the byelaws and when we can/cannot access these training areas. None of the MOD land is ‘open access’ (whereby you can walk where you like, not sticking to paths). So outside of the managed access areas visitors must stick to public Rights of Way. You’d be surprised to know that much of the MOD land has no R.O.W (Hawley and Minley having only a few). Therefore the MOD having ‘managed access’ areas enables visitors to use their land, under managed conditions.
For further information re public access to military land please click here.
To view the current byelaws, which are currently undergoing review click here.
The MOD are planning on installing permissive paths to the perimetre of Pirbright Ranges and to a part of Caesar’s Camp and Ash Ranges to enable safe routes for cyclists and horse riders away from the sensitive training areas.
The proposed fencing at Ash is focused on containing the firing ranges. Due to an irresponsible few that regularly vandalise the firing templates (costing the MOD lost training time and considerable expense) and let their dogs foul over the range area they have decided to restrict access. However they are looking at fencing options that will enable adjacent public access as much as possible. See photograph relating to area.
If any visitor should find themselves involved in an emergency incident, or need to report something serious to the MOD (wildfire, anti social behaviour) please do call the South East Operations room on 01420 483405. A useful number to plug into your phone. Do also report to 101.