If you would like to email Michael Gove or Jonathan Lord if he is your MP, here is an example template email to use if you need one.
Please copy and past the below into an email, replace the parts <full name> with your full name and the part <full address> with your full postal address. This information is required for your MP to be able act on your behalf as one of his constituents.
Subject: Ash Ranges Byelaws protect access for all.
Dear Michael Gove,
I am writing to you requesting your immediate intervention into the closure of part of Ash Ranges. As you know, since March the MOD have prohibited access to a significant part of the ranges.
Two byelaws (Ash Ranges Byelaws 1983 and Aldershot and District Military Lands Byelaws 1976) are relevant to Ash Ranges and both have clear statements about when they may be used for recreation.
Section 2 of the Aldershot byelaws explicitly grants access for recreational use when not in use for military purposes.
Section 3 of the Ash Ranges byelaws defines the “Danger Area” where access is prohibited when in use for military firing, which must be and is marked by red flags. This section also defines the location of poles where red flags (and red lights for night shoots) must be erected to indicate that the danger area is in use.
DIO/MOD have imposed restrictions on 340 acres of land with over 10 miles of trails within the scope of area as defined by Section 3, permanently preventing recreational access at all times and irrespective of military use.
This is contrary to the provisions set out in the byelaws and contravenes both the spirit and intent of the byelaws. Had such draconian restrictions deemed necessary then the 1983 (Ash) or 1976 (Aldershot) byelaws would have included such provisions. Clearly they do not.
To date MOD/DIO have been unable to substantiate their claims of safety and vandalism as good reason to block recreation with hard evidence. We therefore assert these actions have gone beyond what Parliament intended when the byelaws were enacted. The area is a public asset and has been used for over a century to deliver not only valuable military training but also considerable public benefit and this must continue.
I therefore ask that you urgently request that the Secretary of State for Defence issues a clear Ministerial directive and insists MOD/DIO remove all restrictions on recreation within the Ash Range complex with immediate effect.
<Your Postal address>
Previous Template email
Dear Mr Gove
I am writing as a local resident to express my concern over the MoD’s recent decision to close off access part of the ranges. Bylaws have been in place since 1885 to protect access to this whole area for local residents when the flags are down and thus the land is not being used for military purposes.
I understand that the MoD were going to propose changes to the bylaws and that a public consultation was due to happen in April. However the MoD have locked the gates that they installed in January and are using COVID-19 as an excuse to avoid public consultation or due process. I find these actions deplorable given the number of people, including front line doctors, nurses and paramedics, that are having the lives cut-short due to this disease.
As a local resident, access to the ranges is one of the biggest attractions to living in this area. It is more difficult to walk around the edges to get to the nearest gate whilst adhering to social distance. I also don’t want to see access permanently removed, which I believe is the MoD’s intention.
I am a local resident my full name is <full name> and my address is <full address>.
Please could you look into this for me as a matter of urgency.