Riding MoD land in the South…. Words of warning!

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  • Riding MoD land in the South…. Words of warning!
  • pants
    Member

    Do people actually know what is and what is not MoD Land? My experience suggests NO!

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Been discussed here already prior thread

    Do people actually know what is and what is not MoD Land? My experience suggests NO!

    It’s difficult to tell. I’ve been escorted off of land by the MOD which was very clearly marked on the OS as being a perimeter path outside of the boundary.

    mudmuncher
    Member

    As far as I’m aware the MoD temporally commandeered this common land during the war for training purposes.

    Unfortunately they forgot to hand it back.

    As long as people are sensible and avoid any obvious military exercises I don’t see why it can’t be shared.

    mikertroid
    Member

    Do not go anywhere where there are red flags!! It might not be live firing (specific ranges for that) but there will be flare firing/schmoolies and blank firing going off. Plus someone stooging through an ex goes down badly if you’re the poor sod running the ex!

    Drop zones aren’t obvious either; you don’t want a one tonne container landing on you at 18fps! It hurts!

    Stick to byways/bridleways on MoD land and you’ll be fine. The chimps near me who ride their mx bikes are going to get everyone banned soon…..

    awh
    Member

    It’s not just mountain bikers that need to keep away from the military training. I was on the Range Path on Salisbury Plain, an MRX was on and the red flags up (live fire), but the dog walkers were still straying off the path and letting their dogs interfere with the teaching going on. If I was the officer I would have got very angry!

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    Do you ride on MoD land in the South of England?

    If so this may be worth a read, I suggest you drawer your own conclusions.
    http://www.mbr.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/P018019_trailhead.jpg

    big_n_daft
    Member

    The issue is that people assume that training areas are unused unless real bullets are flying. The reality is often very different.

    If armed forces risk assessments have to include biffer IT professionals randomly riding anywhere there will be no UK training areas that are viable for training that includes any form of ammunition or Pyro.

    I would suggest that all unofficial users need to wind their necks in and allow the people who might one day face real incoming fire the opportunity to train properly.

    This so makes me laugh. Why on earth does the public being on the land make any difference to the squadies training?

    Our local riding spot – the pentlands has a fair amount of army training on it and no significant restrictions on who can go where. I have ridden right thru a night exercise when on a night ride. Perfectly legitimately and with no complaints

    i don’t get how its got to this stage down there, as i ride on M0D land here in the south east(Essex)and here we have no conflict what so ever and we have the whole of 5th airmobile brigade stationed here(paras,etc) it’s not hard just don’t go anywhere that has red flags or is marked off with tape and if you do accidently stray be polite and leave as quickly as possible simples 🙂

    opps double post

    mikertroid
    Member

    TJ

    if you don’t understand what’s going on, stay clear. especially on SPTA.

    It might not appear to be dynamic but many of the exercise conditions will require no third parties present.

    Some ‘specialist’ trades might not appreciate your presence either…..

    TooTall
    Member

    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, see “Related pages/documnts” for Safety & Access Restrictions.

    TJ. Please, don’t wade in once more to a subject where you have VERY limited experience. Not all training areas are the same. Your local area largely undertakes blank firing. Many are for LIVE firing which is slightly different with different risks so nothing like whatever you blundered through. Different equipment means different risks to the public and the soldier.

    mikertroid
    Member

    Good point. Not all areas are the same. Or have the same use.

    I am confused about MODs stance from previous Hankley thread. Stats were quoted regarding MOD usage especially of middle section by permanent buildings that indicated very high usage for training. And yet they have just used the area as a film set. Is this training usage or revenue generating usage?

    Is this a dog mess issue that has merely escalated out of hand?

    Magazine photo looks like Pirbright ranges – do the Tunnel Trolls have an update there?

    Premier Icon Stiggy
    Subscriber

    I’ve never had a problem with squadies and ride MOD land a lot, if I see them I turn round or ask them if it’s ok to ride through, they’ve always been fine. I do nightrides elsewhere though as common sense tells me that having 900 lumens darting around might be a little disruptive!

    TooTall
    Member

    The MoD attempts to generate revenue using the facilities it has, so filming can take place across the estate. It is quite possible to book a few days of filming between training exercises – just good use of resources.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Basically, the MOD can do whatever they like, but there’s no way they can stop everyone, and everybody knows it. There simply isn’t the manpower or the money. They cannot fence off an area such as Tunnel Hill, because it has legal rights of way going through it, and not even the MOD can block those off, which basically leaves the whole area wide open.

    For everyones info – The live firing areas are fenced off. You’ve gotta be a bloody idiot to cross those fences at any time. I’d imagine even the army aren’t allowed to use live ammo where there’s a chance of public access. i.e. outside those fenced and patrolled areas.

    This so makes me laugh. Why on earth does the public being on the land make any difference to the squadies training?

    Quite a lot actually. This time TJ, you really should butt out! I’m sure Shortcut or Pants can explain the situation better than me.

    So, are the Trolls gonna stop riding there then? Being as they are a good part of the ‘problem’ ?
    Are Gorrick going to go elsewhere??
    Is AYTE on this year?

    gee
    Member

    The problem is that some riders are acting to the detriment of others.

    Surprise, surprise.

    GB

    Premier Icon offthebrakes
    Subscriber

    The article is somewhat misleading; the main photo shows a rider just outside the perimeter of Ash/Pirbright ranges, which is a live firing area.

    But the problem we are encountering at the moment is a threat to rigidly enforce the bylaws on the non-live firing areas (Tunnel Hill, PorridgePot Hill, Caesar’s Camp, Frith Hill, Minley, Hawley etc etc) – i.e. to prevent MTBers riding anything other than fireroads.

    Historically use of singletrack in this area has been tolerated, but this looks likely to change.

    mattsccm
    Member

    It’s actually very simple TJ.
    It isn’t yours.

    allthepies
    Member

    It would be a shame if an agreement can’t be reached. I started my MTB career ( 😉 ) on Ash Ranges / Tunnel Hill over 20 years ago 😯 Still ride there regularly and am courteous when I happen to meet forces people on exercises.

    The area attracts lots more people now as it’s a race venue and also is obviously associated with the trolls. I guess the Army patience has been stretched too far by a small minority (not necessarily associated with racers/trolls I hasten to add).

    Premier Icon sadmadalan
    Subscriber

    Living close to Caesars Camp, I have noticed a large number of signs going up about MTBers. I thought it was about just being responsible to others you meet on the tracks.

    However booting the MTBers off will almost be impossible. There are so many access points, so much is legal that shutting it down is not possible. Also the same restrictions apply to walkers, they are far more vocal and far more angry.

    The whole element is a balancing act. The army are allowed to use the area for training, on the implied understanding that it is available for others to use. Remove the access from the public and this balance changes and the army becomes less tolerated.

    I suspect the problem is that the MoD have employed a company to manage the land and they need to understand that it is a shared resource.

    The building of north shore stuff on tunnel hill a while ago seems too have pissed off the mod, and now they could ban all mtbs.
    Theres something on the gorrickk website at the mo asking people not too ride there at the moment.
    the bylaws also say you shouldn’t walk dogs on their land as well.

    pants
    Member

    The general public are allowed on MoD land as a privilege not a right which people seem to forget and Military training takes president and everything else comes second to that even the Conservation groups etc.

    The problem is mainly with dog crap, fly tippers, motor bikes and mountain bikers along with disruption to training, which is all governed by bylaws. Which are going to be enforced more robustly by the Wardens and Civil/Military Police.

    Those signs on Caesars and other areas were put up to give plain and simple info about Army training and simple rules when encountering Soldiers etc.

    Have a look @ TAG which has been set up to help matters.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    TJ is providing a valuable training opportunity to our troops by night riding through exercises! It’s only a matter of time before the Taliban are employing tandems equipped with a rear gunner! If they’re not doing so already

    I pass soldiers carrying big guns in the Pentlands all the time. They’re always really friendly and don’t seem to mind sharing the land at all. I’m sure plenty of them are bikers.

    smiff
    Member

    mbr article sounds a bit sensationalist. i ride on MOD land and the general rule seems to be we pretend not to see the soldiers and they pretend not to see us. unless you’re an idiot darting between soldiers you shouldn’t affect much. they ride the land on dirt bikes sometimes anyway.
    don’t ride towards gunfire (duh), don’t go in when flags are flying. i’ve been directed away a couple of times perfectly politely and just got the hell out of there.
    anyone know if there’s a website that tells you when exercises are happening? perhaps not for security reasons. it’s a pisser sometimes when you get there and find flags up, but remember it’s their land and there’s still unflagged areas nearby to ride.. i really hope there isn’t a massive clampdown coming because i’d be sad to lose some of my favourite “remote” feeling riding in the south east.

    wrecker
    Member

    That chap they interviewed seems a bit of a knob. Compensation for the noisy nights? You moved into an area where the military train FFS! Made to feel like a trespasser? Why do you think that is?
    This sense of entitlement will not help MTBers at all.

    Premier Icon offthebrakes
    Subscriber

    it’s a pisser sometimes when you get there and find flags up, but remember it’s their land and there’s still unflagged areas nearby to ride..

    The flagged areas aren’t really the problem here. The unflagged areas (“Managed Access” on OS maps) are where the bylaws are about to be enforced.

    anyone know if there’s a website that tells you when exercises are happening? perhaps not for security reasons.

    Has been investigated but not looking likely in the areas mentioned in the article.

    This sense of entitlement will not help MTBers at all.

    That’s certainly true. Negotiating to find a workable compromise is likely to be in everyone’s long-term interest, even the MOD’s.

    But the problem we are encountering at the moment is a threat to rigidly enforce the bylaws on the non-live firing areas (Tunnel Hill, PorridgePot Hill, Caesar’s Camp, Frith Hill, Minley, Hawley etc etc) – i.e. to prevent MTBers riding anything other than fireroads.

    Thing is – Is this really the threat? I’ve not seen anyone making this threat, I’ve not seen the MOD or Landmarc making this threat, the only thing I’ve seen is a threat to close the car park on Hankley common if people didn’t stop their dogs shitting everywhere – other than that its all rumours and supposition, and ‘furious discussion on internet forums’ about threatened enforcement of byelaws without any actual meat.

    I may be mistaken, I may have missed it, so if I am, can anyone PLEASE post me to anywhere where the MOD have actually threatened to restrict bike access on the area, as I’ve not found it yet.

    Premier Icon offthebrakes
    Subscriber

    Yes, it really is the threat – it has come from discussions with the MOD.

    There isn’t any definitive statement on the web yet as far as I know, although Gorrick’s website has something about it in their round-up of the recent Frith Hill race, and Gorrick aren’t known for their scaremongering.

    The Hankley car park issue is not directly related.

    gren
    Member

    Rode Porridgepot this morning. There are still just the normal ‘polite notices’ for MTBers saying be courteous to the squaddies you meet and leave an area if asked to. I see patrols etc. about once every month and never at the weekend. They usually wave me through or I turn right around. Same at Tunnel Hill and Frith

    I spend around 4-5 hours a week there and see dozens of dog walkers but hardly any bikers. I’d have thought any problems with interrupting exercises lie elsewhere.

    Wahts that wooshing noise – thats right – the point I made being missed completely. 🙄

    pants – Member

    The general public are allowed on MoD land as a privilege not a right which people seem to forget and Military training takes president and everything else comes second to that even the Conservation groups etc.

    This is the problem. Here the public have a right to be on MOD land on the whole

    Because of the different access laws here the military are used to public access on the land. Thus there is no issue.

    Its all about the differing attitudes towards the use of the land. A spirit of sharing and co-operation that seems to be very difficult for some folk to manage

    Live firing bits on Dartmoor are not fenced off. No proper rights of way as in public footpaths or bridleways but right to roam access for walkers and horsies means you *could* be a dunce and wander through red flags. But everyone knows weekends are safe and weekdays not necessarily.

    We used to use blank rounds and ‘big bang’ explosives on exercise without red flags even when I was in the cadets as a fifteen year old though, and lots of them. I can well imagine horses and dawgs going postal finding themselves in the middle of an exercise.

    As a daft cadet I probably wasn’t stealth enough to disguise myself well enough to be a suprise to anyone though. Apparently those yellow flowers you find at Penhale Sands are not an appropriate disguise for the L98 cadet rifle, even if there are all sorts of nice slots to post them in. 😳

    pants
    Member

    Wahts that wooshing noise – thats right – the point I made being missed completely.

    pants – Member
    The general public are allowed on MoD land as a privilege not a right which people seem to forget and Military training takes president and everything else comes second to that even the Conservation groups etc.

    This is the problem. Here the public have a right to be on MOD land on the whole

    Because of the different access laws here the military are used to public access on the land. Thus there is no issue.

    Its all about the differing attitudes towards the use of the land. A spirit of sharing and co-operation that seems to be very difficult for some folk to manage

    There is an issue and the public do not have right to be there! That is why it could be closed off! What are you on? Irresponsible users are the biggest problem, if all were like the majority, responsible, then no problem.

    With the issue of sharing, not difficult just need to come to an agreement of some sorts.

    I answer to others Q’s some riders were stopped last night on Caesars Camp Aldershot.

    What are you on?

    MOD land in Scotland – it’s all a lot more civilised up here, as you’d expect when we have so much of the taxpayer’s money sloshing around keeping us all in style.

    Pants – “here” being in Scotland where the public do have the right to be on the land and there is no issue with this.

    When the military know they have to share then they act accordingly.

    brooess
    Member

    Original article takes a bit of a childish/entitled stance IMO.
    Been illegal for years, locals have ridden it anyway (breaking the law) now law is being enforced, make a fuss…

    Sound like spoilt kids to me. There’s plenty of decent riding round there anyway.

    Maybe they don’t want our soldiers to be well-trained and would rather they lose their battles/die just for the sake of a weekend bike ride… 😯

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