Walking on MoD Estate


Image by courtesy of MoD provided under the terms of the the Open Government Licence
A member of the Royal Engineers guides a Warrior armoured vehicle ...

Photographer: Bryn Reeves
Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2020

Information for walk leaders wishing to utilise the MoD Training Estate in Hampshire and Surrey

Many of you will be aware of the guidance about walks planned to take place on MoD land locally which was published in 2014 on the Hampshire and Surrey Area websites. Needless to say, after more than 6 years this advice needs updating.

This guidance updates and replaces the 2014 version.

Whilst on group walks recently we have had some contact with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) who administer the MoD land to enable army training to be undertaken safely. As a result there has been some confusion about the requirement to notify our walks in advance. The MoD have increased their use of the lands for training as they have withdrawn from areas in Germany etc.

The Ramblers are members of the Local Access Forums who have established an MoD Liaison group to work with the Military on all aspects of access to MoD lands locally. Representatives from Hampshire and Surrey Ramblers had a meeting with DIO recently to clarify the current situation for groups of walkers.

Public access to MoD land is determined by Byelaws and these are currently under review, with updates anticipated before the end of 2021. In the meantime we have agreed that walk leaders will notify the details of any walk that will go onto MoD lands by emailing  Dean Howard of the DIO on Dean.Howard966@mod.gov.uk  The details should include the date, time and proposed route on MoD lands and a contact email/telephone number.

The walk will then be entered into the DIO log and if it becomes apparent that there is a clash with a training exercise that DIO need to manage, the DIO will contact the walk leader to clarify the extent of the potential conflict.

Please note – this is NOT a booking system for Ramblers Groups. It is an exchange of information between us and DIO about whether particular parts of the Training Estate are planned to be in use on any particular day.

Also note that if you have an emergency whilst on MoD lands (eg: you require an ambulance) you should contact the DIO because they need to be able to allow ambulances access. The emergency contact number in this area is 01420 483405 or 01420 483407.

If you have any queries about this guidance please contact either Ramblers Hampshire Area Footpath and Access Officer, or Brian, Area Council Member, Surrey Ramblers via info@wokingramblers.org 

July 2021