Repect the Range - The Importance of range safety

The Defence Training Estate is home to beautiful scenery, diverse environments, unique flora and fauna, and lots of amazing wildlife – attracting visitors far and wide to enjoy its landscapes. 

However, the Estate is also home to many of our Armed Forces personnel, who use these environments to carry out realistic and often extreme training exercises. Transforming the tranquil to the treacherous in a matter of hours. 

At Landmarc, we always encourage the public to use the Estate whenever it is safe to do so, but users ­– from the Military and civilian shooting clubs, to farming tenants and the general public – must be aware of the possible risks concerned when using this land. 

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), as part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), has launched the 'Respect the Range' campaign to warn people about the dangers of using the UK Defence Training Estate at the wrong times and in dangerous locations. 


Pictured above: National Training Area Manager, Murray Graham, works to ensure the ranges are safe for all.

Murray Graham, National Training Area Manager at Landmarc, works to ensure the ranges are safe for all, “The team and I are always travelling to regions across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales for technical inspections, ensuring the landscapes and infrastructure on the ranges are safe, sound and working as they should. Any issues or improvements are reported back to DIO, where we work collaboratively to restore the ranges in order to make them as good as new – even down to the finest detail. 

“A lot of our time is also spent on projects where ranges need remodelling or even building from scratch. We act as technical advisors on these projects, considering what materials can be used and what environments the ranges will be exposed to. 

“Built to tackle the British weather, general wear and tear, and a variety of ammunition, pyrotechnics and explosives, we have to take into account a number of things to ensure the safety of training Armed Forces personnel, the general public and any wildlife or biodiversity on the ranges. 

“As a veteran myself, I know all too well how important it is to create a safe and operative training area for troops, and how important it is for civilian users to respect these areas in return. We do all we can to ensure the ranges are safe for all, and work hard to allow unique flora and fauna to thrive for visitors to enjoy – but this doesn't come without the help of the general public.

“We ask all visitors to educate themselves on their local range, as a duty to themselves, the environment and to other users. Just sitting somewhere off the beaten track for a picnic, or picking up an object you don't recognise could result in danger.

“To stay safe always check the firing times before visiting and pay attention to the red flags. If they are flying then the range is closed as life threatening activities are taking place and access to the public is strictly prohibited. Follow the byelaws, which are included in the many signs around the ranges, which will keep you informed and safe at all times, and if you spot something that you don't like the look of then you should always report it to the Landmarc TEPS or DIO team members on site."

“Many of the ranges are also Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or protected environmental areas thanks to the abundance of wildlife and immense biodiversity that Landmarc works so hard to nurture. This is one of the main reasons that people love visiting the ranges, but it's only with the respect of the general public that the Defence Training Estate can continue to be a home for so many species." 

To find out more about the Respect The Range campaign visit www.gov.uk/guidance/safe-access.