Ministry of Defence warning as Cumbria firing range goes live

Residents have been left shocked after loud bangs and ‘booms’ were heard near Egremont at the beginning of the week.

On Monday afternoon (March 7) residents heard three loud booms that left them wondering what they could be.

But as of Monday, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Eskmeals firing range has had a notice for live weapons test and evaluation range.

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They explained that if the red flags can be seen it can be a hazardous place. The nature of the work carried out on the range means that access has to be strictly controlled.

Between Monday and Friday they will be firing at the site there are seven red flags round the perimeter of the MOD Eskmeals Range. They mark the area which is subject to the range byelaws. Some are visible from adjacent land areas.

Red flags flying indicates that the range is active and that the byelaws are in force. When the Range is active members of the public are not permitted to walk along the beach in front of the range. Red flags are always flown at full mast. There is a yellow flag at the entrance to the nature reserve at the North end of the Range, this indicates that the range is active and entrance to the nature reserve is strictly prohibited.

All activity on the site is conducted in a strictly controlled environment and presents no danger to the public. They explain that the weather, tide times and other operational requirements play a crucial part in trials planning and scheduling.

Any one, or a combination of these factors, may mean that the activity has to be cancelled and rescheduled at short notice and it may not be possible to provide you with an updated schedule of work.

If the red or yellow flags are not flying, the range is not active and there will be no firing activities undertaken and as such the byelaws are not in force.

Please be aware that QinetiQ carries out work at MOD Eskmeals on behalf of the MOD, under contract with the Secretary of State for Defence. Because of the nature of the work, QinetiQ is limited as to the level and detail of information it can provide in these communications.

QinetiQ operates a free phone care line number, 0800 0150536 for members of the public to call with any queries or concerns.

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Lancs Live – Cumbria