Army cutting off animals’ water in Whittington


Whittington ranges used to be a place of harmony.

The army in Whittington is embroiled in yet another row - this time after cutting off the water supply to farmers' livestock.

MoD officials have already been accused of preventing disabled horse riders using a bridleway crossing the local shooting ranges.

And it was claimed a glaring error in building massive bullet-catching sand hills resulted in a huge waste of public money.

Cutting off brook

Now it is alleged that Whittington's, 'neighbours from hell', have completely cut off Leasowe brook.

The man in charge, Major James Salisbury, was told about the problem six months ago.

Local landowners say this, "disgraceful situation", is now rapidly worsening and still Salisbury has done nothing.

A check showed that water was still flowing along the brook onto the ranges.

The blockage appears to be caused by a culvert the MoD put in under a bridge.

Maintenance failure

A lax failure in maintenance seems to have resulted in the now raised culvert becoming a dam, instead of a pipe.

The upshot is people's animals going short of water.

In the case of the disabled riders and the sand hill engineering mistake, MoD officials simply ignored the questions put to them.

And so far, they have said nothing about Leasowe brook.

Soured relations

At one time the army had good relations with Whittington's host civilian community.

But of late the attitude of managers in charge of the ranges has appeared to sour.

There have been increasing efforts to keep the public off the land.

Neighbours from hell

Security failures led to criminals using the ranges as an easy covert access route for attacking adjoining properties.

Arsonists and vandals were allowed to wreck army property with impunity at huge cost to the taxpayers.

Youngsters' safety was put at risk because they were left free to abuse potentially dangerous equipment.

A guard allegedly told one landowner that it was policy never to challenge people found on the ranges.

"Manager"s threats

A man claiming to manage the ranges screamed and swore at a journalist who reported on problems at the site. His identity was confirmed by staff at Whittington Barracks. But then the MoD denied knowing who he was.

Criminals from as far afield as the south coast were said to have been drawn to the insecure moorland.

Villagers were alarmed by poachers, badger baiters, people hunting with dogs and stalkers who were regularly seen on the ranges.

Major James Salisbury, who was told about Leasowe brook drying up last February, denied that anyone in his department had seen the "Phoenix's enquiry, adding: "We have a defined process to ensure we do answer all inquiries in a prompt and timely manner.

"Therefore I would suggest that we will need a little time to do so and ask if you would please be  patient with us to allow us to do so."

Related information
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