A FIELD popular with dog walkers has been left damaged after a six-day military exercise.
The land at Browndown training area, off Browndown Road, has been left with deep cuts in the grass from vehicles after the exercise.
Mick Miller, 66, of Jellicoe Avenue, Alverstoke, said he can no longer walk his dog on the field, which is owned by the MoD but can be used by the public when not in use by the military.
‘When you think about the size of the field, it’s about a half of it they’ve wrecked, not all of it,’ said Mr Miller.
‘They shouldn’t have had an exercise over there, it’s a lovely green field and now half of it’s just like a playing field.
‘They won’t bother to repair it and the people who did that damage probably won’t come back.’
The field is next to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the designation given to important wildlife and geological areas in the country.
Councillor John Beavis, Tory member for Lee West, said: ‘The public do use MoD land at Browndown and there has been a public concern expressed.
‘It is on their land and they must therefore have some sort of responsibility to the general public as well because the public do have rights to use it.
‘I think it is beholden of them to look after these areas, especially when they are so close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest.’
But Colonel Roger Owen (Rtd), deputy commander at Headquarters Defence Training Estate South East, said: ‘It is not our responsibility to maintain it as a public park, for example.
‘If it was soft, and if it was large vehicles, it’s likely that the ruts may impact on the training for other vehicles, and if that’s the case then we’ll do some remedial action.’
And Col Owen added that the military do have experience dealing with SSSI land when necessary.