Since the 1930’s the Ministry of Defence (MOD) – in particular trainees from the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines – have been regularly seen conducting low level military training on Woodbury Common. Since the 1950’s this critical military training has included the throwing of live grenades within the controlled and fenced off area of a purpose-built Grenade Range on Colaton Raleigh Common.
Although this regular activity temporarily ceased in early 2015 it has now been deemed appropriate for the MOD to reinstate live grenade throwing on this site as soon as reasonably practicable.
The main refurbishment activity – working collaboratively with Clinton Devon Estates and the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust (the Landowner and manager respectively), and closely monitored by Natural England and other local government agencies – will begin from early November. It is anticipated that it will be completed by mid to late February 2019, with live throwing expected to recommence between March and April.
Subsequently live throwing will occur on a maximum of two days per fortnight and no more than 8 times per calendar month. All detonations will occur between 0900 and 1600hrs.
Formal notification of these firing dates and times will be published on the GOV.UK website a minimum of one month before activity is scheduled to take place. The legal conditions for this type of military training activity are set out in the Ranges Licenses and The Woodbury Common Range Byelaws (2009 No3284, dated 10 December 2009 and effective from 31 March 2010). Copies of these Byelaws are published on noticeboards positioned on all approach routes to the Range Danger Area.
Updates on the progress of these works will be issued periodically by both the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and representatives of the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust and Clinton Devon Estates.