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Castlelaw Training Area

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Castlelaw firing range, 2005
Castlelaw firing range
© Chris Eilbeck

The Castlelaw Training Area, and ranges, are located in Edinburgh's Greenbelt, within the Pentland Hills Regional Park (north east extent of the Pentland Hills) on the outskirts of the city. Also known as the Castlelaw and Dreghorn Training Area (CDTA).

Formerly a World War II training area, field firing and heavy weapons training took place here, with small arms training to the north, near Dreghorn. This earlier facility closed in 1985, with all live firing taking place at the Castlelaw ranges.

The training area covers some 1,900 acres (775 ha), which is used for dry training, and includes a small arms range complex. Further training takes place at Dreghorn and Redford Cavalry Barracks, which provides accommodation for visiting troops.

As with many similar facilities, the area benefits from the absence of development and intrusion, and many species survive that would otherwise be lost if it were to be developed commercially. In particular, this area affords protection to juniper trees which may be up to 200 years old, and black grouse have been reported.

Hazards

Castlelaw range, 2008
Castlelaw range
© Richard Webb

Live firing at the Castlelaw range is signalled by flags and lamps, when the area must not be entered. The walk around the area is available at all times, and marked by a fence which should not be crossed at any time.

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