Cape Wrath:Firing Of Trace Ammunition To Continue Despite Fire Risk



The Ministry of Defence (MOD) will continue to use tracer ammunition in live firing at the Cape Wrath Range in Scotland despite the risk of fire and environmental damage such as that which occurred in 2008.

The MOD conveyed the information in response to a query from the Celtic League
(see link):

The MOD also says that no post-damage environmental assessment has taken place
at the site.

The text of the MOD letter is set out below:

“Thank you for your letter of 28 August addressed to Minister of State for the Armed Forces about a fire on the Cape Wrath Range in May 2008. Your letter has been passed to Defence Estates (DE) – the Ministry of Defence (MOD) organisation responsible for the Defence estate, and I have been asked to reply.

Let me begin my explaining that immediately after the incident, a member of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Commandant of the Cape Wrath Bombardment Range surveyed the area. The SNH representative estimated approximately 1 37Ha
(339 acres) had been affected. As the fire took place on land not classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the land was left to regenerate itself: it is my understanding that it has done so.

Although we do not have a record of the species of bird or animal life that were affected by this fire, I can assure you that this department values the biodiversity on its estate and in conjunction with other statutory bodies takes steps to protect it. You refer to a paragraph quoted in a letter from the then Commanding Officer of the Defence Training Estate dated 25 June 2008. I can assure you that this department takes very seriously the stewardship of its training areas, and ensures that close working relationships are maintained with
all stakeholders.

With regards to the use of tracer ammunition, I can assure you that the use of this type of ammunition can only be authorised by Commandant, Cape Wrath Range, who’s decision will be based on ground and weather conditions leading up to the date of the training exercise, and r the use of such ammunition carries the risk of fire.

I hope that what I have said explains this department’s position and thank you for writing as you did.”

Related links on Celtic News:

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

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