CELTIC LEAGUE - PRESS INFORMATION
DO EXERCISES HARM WILDLIFE - QUERY TO MoD
The Celtic League have written to the Ministry of Defence asking what
steps it is taking to monitor environmental damage at the Cape Wrath
military exercise area in North Scotland.
The area is due to host another exercise in two weeks time which will
involve the deployment of troops and live firing exercises.
The MoD have in the past insisted such exercises are not harmful to
wildlife and indeed have commissioned so-called 'nature surveys'.
However, little information on the result of these has been published
and the League are pressing Defence Minister, Geoff Hoon, to confirm
or deny that full environmental assessments of the long-term damage
caused in the area have been carried out.
The correspondence to the MoD is set out below:
The Defence Minister
Mr. Geoff Hoon MP
Ministry of Defence
London SW1A 2HB.
I understand that following military exercises at the Cape Wrath military
exercise area this summer an environmental assessment (or nature survey)
was to be undertaken to assess the impact on wildlife.
Can you advise if the result of that exercise has been received by
your Department and if so is it available to the public.
Could you also advise if in addition to carrying out a survey of the
type undertaken any attempt is made by the military to assess the
quantity of unexploded ordnance which remains in the area and if so
has any thought been given to the costs of a clean up.
In relation to this last point in addition to unexploded weapons on
shores (or on the off shore islands used for live gunnery and bombing
practice) has any assessment taken place over the years of the amount
of unexpended ordnance in the coastal area off Cape Wrath.
We understand it is now MoD policy to carry out regular environmental
impact assessments at military sights and if this is the case how
many full environmental impact assessments have been undertaken at
We understand another exercise is due to get underway shortly and
hope your office is able to respond with some answers to the questions
set out above without delay.
J B Moffatt
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries of the
western British Isles and Brittany. It works to promote cooperation
between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political,
cultural and environmental matters. It targets human rights abuse
and monitors all military activity within these areas
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