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Kirkcudbright Training Area

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The Kirkcudbright Training Area was acquired by the Army in 1942 as a range for training the Second World War invasion of Europe forces. The area is also home to the Dundrennan Range, where weapons testing and development is carried out.

Use of the range has been divided between military training and tank/anti-tank weapon development.

The area provides a wide variety of field fire and dry training exercises across 4,700 acres (1,900 hectares) of farming land, and can accommodate all approved weapon systems, as a result of which there is an extensive sea danger area 15 x 19 miles (24 x 30 kilometres). Training involves both fire and dry training exercises in realistic and testing conditions throughout the whole area. Since April 1997, the area has been further developed as an infantry field fire range.

The included coastline is defined as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for geological reasons, and there is an MoD Integrated Land Management Plan (ILMP) in place, which co-ordinates the needs of training with the overall ecology of the area. 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.

Hazards

There is a danger from unexploded ordnance lying close to the surface of the ground across the range. Therefore, apart from the road to Abbey Burnfoot, range road access barriers are kept locked, and the range is closed to the general public at all times. The only exception to this is for the tenant farmers, who are allowed access when firing is not in progress.

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