Caught in crossfire on Whittington ranges

Riflemen are being caught in the crossfire on Whittington ranges as the battle for disabled horse riders’ rights rumbles on.


IO PA KING: the MoD ranges offered an open invitation to criminals out to steal residents’ property.

The ‘Staffordshire Phoenix’ has been holding the MoD to account for failing to sort out the problem.

Meanwhile, officials at the Staffordshire Phoenix Rifle and Pistol Club (SPRPC) are stressing that they have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the online publication.

And nor do the club members provide the journalists with any information about the MoD site, off Common Lane.

Caught in crossfire

The ‘Phoenix’ publication’s editor, said: “SPRPC is a highly respected and responsible organisation.

“Its members have immense knowledge and experience and work hard to promote the enjoyment, safe practice and history of their sport.

“The last thing we want is for people to confuse their club with our publication. The two are totally unconnected.

“We very are sorry if they have received criticism because of a case of mistaken identity.

Different targets

“But we cannot ignore how strongly local residents feel about the military preventing disabled riders using a bridleway and damming a brook that provides livestock with water.

“These are only the latest in a long line of problems associated with the MoD’s management of the site and things do not seem to be improving.

“There has been a fresh attack on property adjoining the army land and it appears those responsible might again have used the ranges as their access route.”

Sought answers


Party time: alcohol-fueled arson and criminal damage went unchallenged.

The ‘Phoenix’ asked the MoD for answers over the blocked bridleway and dammed brook.

Major James Salisbury, replied: “Your attachment below will also be dealt with to allow us to answer and again I do emphasis along with our other duties within our work we will do so.” (sic)

Nothing has been heard of him since.

The MoD has also failed to comment about its allegedly shambolic restoration of facilities at the Whittington site.

Vast cock-up

It was claimed a cock-up led to vast bullet-catching sand hills being put in the wrong place and having to be shifted at huge wasted public expense.

Before that criminals were using the unguarded and insecure ranges as a covert route for attacking adjoining properties.

Thousands of pounds worth of stolen goods were hauled away by gangs driving trucks along the range roads.

Criminals zeroed in

Vandals, arsonists, badger baiters, people hunting illegally with dogs, and stalkers were all drawn to the MoD land.

Potentially dangerous equipment was left open for youngsters to play on.

A guard allegedly claimed it was policy never to challenge people found on the ranges.

A man who said he managed the site screamed foul-mouthed abuse at a journalist who covered the story.

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