Barry Buddon Training Centre
Barry Buddon Training Centre lies approximately one mile west of Carnoustie and its well-known golf club.
The land was sold to the War Office by Lord Panmure in 1897 for use as a military training area, and served in this role ever since. Prior to this, in the mid-19th century, the area had been used for some 30 years by the Forfarshire Rifle Volunteers, the Panmure Battery of the Forfarshire Artillery Brigade, and a Royal Naval Reserve Battery. Earlier still, it hosted a salmon fishing enterprise, a horse racecourse, and a lifeboat station. Further history can be traced back to the 11th century.
The area features some 20 ranges, used mainly for infantry training, with small arms, light and medium mortars, and anti-tank weapons being fired. The site covers 2,300 acres (930 hectares), with 600 acres (240 hectares) of foreshore extending into a similar area of sea which is included in the danger area. The accommodation camp itself has accommodation for 507, and caters for an annual throughput of up to 30,000 personnel arriving from the three services, cadets, and a number of civilian sources.
Comments received about the site claim it be unlike most army barracks, personnel refer to it as Barry Butlins.
Most of the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and an EU Special Area of Conservation (SAC), as well as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds under the European Birds Directive. As with many similar facilities, the area benefits from the absence of development and public intrusion, and many species survive that would otherwise be lost if the area was freely accessible. The coast has been subject to significant erosion in recent years, with 150 metres being lost in the past 20 years, threatening the site and its ranges. In 1993, a major project saw the installation of a rock defence wall on the range shore area, the long term effects are to be monitored in order to determine its effect on the surrounding shore areas.
Amongst the various ranges at Barry was a set of targets which ran on a narrow gauge railway, providing a moving target for gunnery practise.
Using the target shed as a marker, the path of the tracks can be located on OS maps, and still identified on the ground, visible in online aerial views.
A set of gun mounts (holdfasts) lie on the range, with what appears to be a quadrant tower visible in the background. The tower was a standard range item, used to observe where the shells landed and gauge the performance of the crews.
A number of rifle ranges lie on the land.
Bigger ranges have bigger targets.
Due to its long history of military use, and the number of live firing ranges in used, there is a danger from unexploded ordnance lying on the land, and public access is generally restricted to metalled roads and beaches when the range flags are down and the red lights extinguished.
At least one concrete arrow can be seen set into the ground, with an observation or quadrant tower nearby.
These arrows were used to guide pilots toward the range area, where the crew could practice gunnery, or dropping bombs or torpedoes into the water.
Public information leaflet
Now deleted from the MoD/Army web site, a leaflet gave the following description:
Barry Buddon Training Centre
The Tay has formed Barry Buddon over the centuries into a knot of dunes where the fresh water meets the sea. Always a safe sanctuary for wildlife, Barry Buddon has not always been so for humans: in the 11th century the Danes defeated King Malcolm’s men near the northern corner of the present ranges. In the 15th century, Henry VI dispatched a fleet to capture the King of Scotland – which returned homeward after unsuccessfully engaging the Scottish Ships in a fierce battle off Barry Buddon. Then, in the 17th century, Cromwell’s fleet anchored off Barry Links while laying siege to Dundee and were bombarded by the local militia who sited their cannons on Barry Buddon. In the 19th century the area played a rather more peaceful host to a number of less bellicose ventures, including a salmon fishing enterprise, a horse racecourse and a lifeboat station.
The history of its present function dates back to the mid-19th century when the area was used for at least 30 years by the Forfarshire Rifle Volunteers, the Panmure Battery of the Forfarshire Artillery Brigade, and a Royal Naval Reserve Battery. In 1897 the land was sold by Lord Panmure to the War Office for use as a military training area, for which it has been used ever since.
Training facilities and activities
Barry Buddon covers 2,300 acres (930 hectares), of which 600 acres (240 hectares) is foreshore, with at least an equal amount of sea danger area. The camp itself is quite new, with accommodation for 507. Typically, with all camps and facilities in use, about 30,000 personnel pass through annually from all three services, cadets and some civilian organisations. There are 20 different ranges, although not all can be used simultaneously. It is primarily an infantry training area, and small arms, light and medium mortars, and some anti-tank weapons are fired. Public access Because of the unexploded ordnance from years of military use the public is restricted to the metalled roads and is free to walk to, and along, the beaches when the flags are down and red lights extinguished.
Most of the training area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and an EU Special Area of Conservation (SAC), as well as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds under the European Birds Directive. Shore nesting birds include terns on the beaches, and shell duck in old rabbit burrows. In summer months, abundant skylarks, meadow pipits, linnets and stonechats use the dunes as shelter or nest sites. In winter, passage birds like fieldfares and redwings feed on the plentiful sea buckthorn berries.
Mammals are restricted by the lack of cover, although the terrain is suited to rabbits which play an important role in maintaining the short turf and thereby the diverse range of plant species. Maintaining naturally-balanced numbers, not just of rabbits but of voles, mice and even the occasional brown hare, is down to predators like foxes, weasels, stoats and birds of prey.
Amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates are also present in many different species, on the warm, dry habitat and around the area’s pools and marshes.
Over the past 20 years there has been considerable erosion of the east coast which until recently threatened a number of the ranges: in places up to 150 metres have been lost. However, in April 1993 a major project to construct a rock-armoured wall was completed. The long-term effects of changes in beach sediment supply caused by this are awaited. The control of scrub development is important to maintain current areas of acidic dune, and dry and wet heath.
- Public Information Leaflet from the Army Training Estate.
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